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Full text of "Sylvie and Bruno concluded"

Ex Libris 
C. K. OGDEN 





THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



SYLVIE AND BRUNO 
CONCLUDED 



ADVERTISEMENT. 

For over 25 years, I have made it my chief object, 
with regard to my books, that they should be of the 
best workmanship attainable for the price. And I 
am deeply annoyed to find that the last issue of 
" Through the Looking-Glass," consisting of the 
Sixtieth Thousand, has been put on sale without its 
being noticed that most of the pictures have failed 
so much, in the printing, as to make the book not 
worth buying. I request all holders of copies to 
send them to Messrs. Macmillan & Co., 29 Bedford 
Street, Covent Garden, with their names and 
addresses ; and copies of the next issue shall be 
sent them in exchange. 

Instead, however, of destroying the unsold copies, 
I propose to utilise them by giving them away, to 
Mechanics' Institutes, Village Reading-Rooms, and 
similar institutions, where the means for purchasing 
such books are scanty. Accordingly I invite appli- 
cations for such gifts, addressed to me, " care of 
Messrs. Macmillan." Every such application should 
be signed by some responsible person, and should 
state how far they are able to buy books for them- 
selves, and what is the average number of readers. 

I take this opportunity of announcing that, if 
at any future time I should wish to communicate 
anything to my Readers, I will do so by advertising, 
in the 'Agony' Column of some of the Daily Papers, 
#n the first Tuesday in the month. 

LEWIS CARROLL. 

Christmas, 1893. 




[See p. 304. 



SYLVIE AND BRUNO 
CONCLUDED 




WITH FORTY-SIX ILLUSTRATIONS 

BY 
HARRY FURNISS 



PRICE THREE HALF-CROWNS 

Slontion 
MAC MILL AN AND CO. 

AND NEW YORK 
'893 

The Right of Translation and Reproduction is Reserved 



RICHARD CLAY AND SONS, LIMITED 
LONDON AND BUNGAY. 



Library 



Breams, tijat elutie tfje SJBafcer's fren^teti grasp- 
Mantis, starfc ant still, on a fceafc ^ftotfjer's fcreast, 
nebermorc stall render clasp for clasp, 
j) sootfje a toeeptng CfjiltJ to rest 
Jn sucfjltfee forms me listed to portraj) 
Cale, fjere entjeti. ^Tijou tjeltcious 



Cfje guardian of a Spttte tfjat libes to tease tfjee 
ILobing in earnest, carting tut in plaj) 
C^e merrj) mocking iSruno! SHto, tfjat sees tfjee, 
(Kan fail to lobe tfjee, Barling, eben as !? 
stoeetest 5Blbte, toe must sag ' 



icsiros 



PREFACE. 

I MUST begin with the same announcement as in 
the previous Volume (which I shall henceforward 
refer to as "Vol. I.," calling the present Volume 
"Vol. II."), viz. that the Locket, at p. 405, was drawn 
by ' Miss Alice Havers.' And my reason, for not 

stating this on the title-page that it seems only 

due, to the artist of these wonderful pictures, that 

his name should stand there alone has, I think, 

even greater weight in Vol. II. than it had in Vol. I. 
Let me call especial attention to the three " Little 
Birds" borders, at pp. 365, 371, 377. The way, in 
which he has managed to introduce the most minute 
details of the stanzas to be illustrated, seems to me 
a triumph of artistic ingenuity. 

Let me here express my sincere gratitude to the 
many Reviewers who have noticed, whether favorably 
or unfavorably, the previous Volume. Their unfavor- 
able remarks were, most probably, well-deserved ; 
the favorable ones less probably so. Both kinds 
have no doubt served to make the book known, and 
have helped the reading Public to form their opinions 
of it. Let me also here assure them that it is not 
from any want of respect for their criticisms, that I 



x PREFACE. 

have carefully forborne from reading any of them. 
I am strongly of opinion that an author had far 
better not read any reviews of his books : the un- 
favorable ones are almost certain to make him 
cross, and the favorable ones conceited ; and neither 
of these results is desirable. 

Criticisms have, however, reached me from private 
sources, to some of which I propose to offer a reply. 

One such critic complains that Arthur's strictures, 
on sermons and on choristers, are too severe. Let me 
say, in reply, that I do not hold myself responsible 
for any of the opinions expressed by the characters 
in my book. They are simply opinions which, it 
seemed to me, might probably be held by the persons 
into whose mouths I put them, and which were 
worth consideration. 

Other critics have objected to certain innovations 
in spelling, such as " ca'n't," " wo'n't," " traveler." In 
reply, I can only plead my firm conviction that the 
popular usage is wrong. As to "ca'n't," it will not 
be disputed that, in all other words ending in " n't," 
these letters are an abbreviation of " not " ; and it is 
surely absurd to suppose that, in this solitary instance, 
" not " is represented by " 't " ! In fact " can't " is 
\heproper abbreviation for "can it," just as "is't" is 
for " is it." Again, in " wo'n't," the first apostrophe 
is needed, because the word " would " is here abridged 
into " wo " : but I hold it proper to spell " don't " 
with only one apostrophe, because the word " do " is 
here complete. As to such words as " traveler," I 
hold the correct principle to be, to double the con- 



PREFACE. xi 

sonant when the accent falls on that syllable ; other- 
wise to leave it single. This rule is observed in most 
cases (e.g. we double the " r " in " preferred," but 
leave it single in "offered"), so that I am only ex- 
tending, to other cases, an existing rule. I admit, 
however, that I do not spell " parallel," as the rule 
would have it ; but here we are constrained, by the 
etymology, to insert the double " 1 ". 

In the Preface to Vol. I. were two puzzles, on which 
my readers might exercise their ingenuity. One was, 
to detect the 3 lines of " padding," which I had found 
it necessary to supply in the passage extending from 
the top of p. 35 to the middle of p. 38. They are 
the I4th, 1 5th, and i6th lines of p. 37. The other 
puzzle was, to determine which (if any) of the 8 
stanzas of the Gardener's Song (see pp. 65, 78, 83, 
90, 1 06, 1 1 6, 164, 1 68) were adapted to the context, 
and which (if any) had the context adapted to them. 
The last of them is the only one that was adapted to 
the context, the " Garden-Door that opened with a 
key" having been substituted for some creature (a 
Cormorant, I think) " that nestled in a tree." At 
pp. 78, 1 06, and 164, the context was adapted to the 
stanza. At p. 90, neither stanza nor context was 
altered : the connection between them was simply a 
piece of good luck. 

In the Preface to Vol. 1., at pp. ix., x., I gave an 
account of the making-up of the story of " Sylvie and 
Bruno." A few more details may perhaps be accept- 
able to my Readers. 



xii PREFACE. 

It was in 1873, as I now believe, that the idea 
first occurred to me that a little fairy-tale (written, 
in 1867, for "Aunt Judy's Magazine," under the title 
" Bruno's Revenge ") might serve as the nucleus of a 
longer story. This I surmise, from having found the 
original draft of the last paragraph of Vol. II., dated 
1873. So that this paragraph has been waiting 20 

years for its chance of emerging into print more 

than twice the period so cautiously recommended by 
Horace for ' repressing ' one's literary efforts ! 

It was in February, 1885, that I entered into nego- 
tiations, with Mr. Harry Furniss, for illustrating the 
book. Most of the substance of both Volumes was 
then in existence in manuscript : and my original 
intention was to publish the whole story at once. 
In September, 1885, I received from Mr. Furniss the 

first set of drawings the four which illustrate 

"Peter and Paul" (see I. pp. 144, 147, 150, 154): in 

November, 1886, I received the second set the 

three which illustrate the Professor's song about the 
"little man" who had "a little gun" (Vol. II. pp. 
265, 266, 267): and in January, 1887, I received the 
third set the four which illustrate the " Pig-Tale." 

So we went on, illustrating first one bit of the 
story, and then another, without any idea of sequence. 
And it was not till March, 1889, that, having calcu- 
lated the number of pages the story would occupy, I 
decided on dividing it into two portions, and publish- 
ing it half at a time. This necessitated the writing 
of a sort of conclusion for the first Volume : and most 
of my Readers, I fancy, regarded this as the actual 



PREFACE. xiii 

conclusion, when that Volume appeared in December, 
1889. At any rate, among all the letters I received 
about it, there was only one which expressed any sus- 
picion that it was not a final conclusion. This letter 
was from a child. She wrote " we were so glad, 
when we came to the end of the book, to find that 
there was no ending-up, for that shows us that you 
are going to write a sequel." 

It may interest some of my Readers to know the 
theory on which this story is constructed. It is an 
attempt to show what might possibly happen, suppos- 
ing that Fairies really existed ; and that they were 
sometimes visible to us, and we to them ; and that 
they were sometimes able to assume human form : 
and supposing, also, that human beings might some- 
times become conscious of what goes on in the Fairy- 
world by actual transference of their immaterial 

essence, such as we meet with in ' Esoteric Buddhism.' 

I have supposed a Human being to be capable of 
various psychical states, with varying degrees of 
consciousness, as follows : 

(a) the ordinary state, with no consciousness of the 
presence of Fairies ; 

(<) the ' eerie ' state, in which, while conscious of 
actual surroundings, he is also conscious of the pre- 
sence of Fairies ; 

(c) a form of trance, in which, while ?^zconscious 
of actual surroundings, and apparently asleep, he (i.e. 
his immaterial essence) migrates to other scenes, in 
the actual world, or in Fairyland, and is conscious of 
the presence of Fairies. 



PREFACE. 



i have also supposed a Fairy to be capable of mi- 
grating from Fairyland into the actual world, and 
of assuming, at pleasure, a Human form ; and also 
to be capable of various psychical states, viz. 

(a) the ordinary state, with no consciousness of 
the presence of Human beings ; 

(b} a sort of ' eerie ' state, in which he is conscious, 
if in the actual world, of the presence of actual Human 
beings ; if in Fairyland, of the presence of the im- 
material essences of Human beings. 

I will here tabulate the passages, in both Volumes, 
where abnormal states occur. 



Vol. I. 


Historian's Locality and State. 


Other characters. 


pp. i 16 
33 55 
65 79 
83 99 
105117 
119 183 

190 221 
225233 

247253 
262, 263 
263 269 




b 

a. 
c 

b 
b 
c 
a. 
a 
b 


Chancellor () p. 2. 

S. and B. (6) pp. 158163. 
Professor (b) p. 169. 
Bruno (b) pp. 198220. 
S. and B. (/>). 
do. (b). 

S. B. and Professor in Human 
form. 

S. and B. (/,). 
S. B. and Professor (b). 
S. and B. in Human form. 

S. and B. (b). 


do 


do 


At lodgings 


On beach 
At lodgings 




do. sleep-walking . 
Among ruins 


do. dreaming . . 
do. sleep-walking 


279294 
304323 
329344 
345356 
361 382 




In garden 










Vol. II. 
pp.4 1 8 
47 5 2 

53 7? 
79- 92 

152 211 
212 246 
262 270 
304309 
3"345 
351399 

407 end. 




b 
b 
b 
b 
a 
c 
c 
b 
c 
c 

b 


S. and B. (b). 
do (b). 
do in Human form, 
do (b). 
do in Human form, 
do (b). 
do (b). 
do (a) ; Lady Muriel (i). 




do 


do 


In drawing-room .... 
do. .... 
In smoking-room .... 
In wood 


do 


do 





PREFACE xv 

In the Preface to Vol. I., at p. x., I gave an account 
of the origination of some of the ideas embodied in 
the book. A few more such details may perhaps in- 
terest my Readers : 

I. p. 203. The very peculiar use, here made of a 
dead mouse, comes from real life. I once found two 
very small boys, in a garden, playing a microscopic 
game of c Single-Wicket.' The bat was, I think, about 
the size of a table-spoon ; and the utmost distance 
attained by the ball, in its most daring flights, was 
some 4 or 5 yards. The exact length was of course a 
matter of supreme importance ; and it was always 
carefully measured out (the batsman and the bowler 
amicably sharing the toil) with a dead mouse ! 

I. p. 259. The two quasi-mathematical Axioms, 
quoted by Arthur at p. 259 of Vol. I., (" Things that 
are greater than the same are greater than one 
another," and " All angles are equal ") were actually 
enunciated, in all seriousness, by undergraduates at a 
University situated not 100 miles from Ely. 

II. p. 10. Bruno's remark (" I can, if I like, &c.") 
was actually made by a little boy. 

II. p. 12. So also was his remark (" I know what 
it doesn't spell.") And his remark (" I just twiddled 
my eyes, &c.") I heard from the lips of a little girl, 
who had just solved a puzzle I had set her. 

II. p. 55. Bruno's soliloquy ("For its father, &c.") 
was actually spoken by a little girl, looking out of 
the window of a railway-carriage. 

II. p. 138. The remark, made by a guest at the 
dinner-party, when asking for a dish of fruit (" I've 



xvi PREFACE. 

been wishing for them, &c.") I heard made by the 
great Poet-Laureate, whose loss the whole reading- 
world has so lately had to deplore. 

II. p. 163. Bruno's speech, on the subject of the 
age of ' Mein Herr,' embodies the reply of a little 
girl to the question " Is your grandmother an old 
lady ? " " I don't know if she's an old lady," said this 
cautious young person ; " she's eighty-three." 

II. p. 203. The speech about 'Obstruction' is no 
mere creature of my imagination ! It is copied ver- 
batim from the columns of the Standard, and was 
spoken by Sir William Harcourt, who was, at the 
time, a member of the ' Opposition,' at the ' National 
Liberal Club,' on July the i6th, 1890. 

II. p. 329. The Professor's remark, about a dog's 
tail, that " it doesn't bite at that end," was actually 
made by a child, when warned of the danger he was 
incurring by pulling the dog's tail. 

II. p. 374. The dialogue between Sylvie and Bruno, 
which occupies lines 6 to 15, is a verbatim report 
(merely substituting "cake" for "penny") of a dia- 
logue overheard between two children. 

One story in this Volume ' Bruno's Picnic '- 

I can vouch for as suitable for telling to children, 
having tested it again and again ; and, whether my 
audience has been a dozen little girls in a village- 
school, or some thirty or forty in a London drawing- 
room, or a hundred in a High School, I have always 
found them earnestly attentive, and keenly appreci- 
ative of such fun as the story supplied. 



PREFACE. xvii 

May I take this opportunity of calling attention to 
what I flatter myself was a successful piece of name- 
coining, at p. 42 of Vol. I. Does not the name 
' Sibimet ' fairly embody the character of the Sub- 
Warden ? The gentle Reader has no doubt observed 
what a singularly useless article in a house a brazen 
trumpet is, if you simply leave it lying about, and 
never blow it ! 

Readers of the first Volume, who have amused 
themselves by trying to solve the two puzzles pro- 
pounded at pp. xi., xii. of the Preface, may perhaps 
like to exercise their ingenuity in discovering which 
(if any) of the following parallelisms were intentional, 
and which (if any) accidental. 

" Little Birds." Events, and Persons. 



Stanza i. Banquet. 

2. Chancellor. 

3. Empress and Spinach (II. 325). 

4. Warden's Return. 

5. Professor's Lecture (II. 339). 

6. Other Professor's song (I. 138' 

7. Petting of Uggug. 

8. Baron Doppelgeist. 

9. Jester and Bear (I. 119). Little Foxes. 
10. Bruno's Dinner-Bell ; Little Foxes. 

I will publish the answer to this puzzle in the 
Preface to a little book of " Original Games and 
Puzzles," now in course of preparation. 

b 



xviii PREFACE. 

I have reserved, for the last, one or two rather more 
serious topics. 

I had intended, in this Preface, to discuss more 
fully, than I had done in the previous Volume, the 
' Morality of Sport ', with special reference to letters 
I have received from lovers of Sport, in which they 
point out the many great advantages which men get 
from it, and try to prove that the suffering, which it 
inflicts on animals, is too trivial to be regarded. 

But, when I came to think the subject out, and to 
arrange the whole of the arguments ' pro ' and ' con ', 
I found it much too large for treatment here. Some 
day, I hope to publish an essay on this subject. At 
present, I will content myself with stating the net 
result I have arrived at. 

It is, that God has given to Man an absolute right 
to take the lives of other animals, for any reasonable 
cause, such as the supply of food : but that He has 
not given to Man the right to inflict pain, unless 
when necessary: that mere pleasure, or advantage, 
does not constitute such a necessity : and, con- 
sequently, that pain, inflicted for the purposes of 
Sport, is cruel, and therefore wrong. But I find it a 
far more complex question than I had supposed ; 
and that the ' case ', on the side of the Sportsman, is 
a much stronger one than I had supposed. So, for 
the present, I say no more about it. 

Objections have been raised to the severe language 
I have put into the mouth of ' Arthur ', at p. 277, on 



PREFACE. xix 

the subject of * Sermons,' and at pp. 273, 274, on the 
subjects of Choral Services and ' Choristers.' 

I have already protested against the assumption 
that I am ready to endorse the opinions of characters 
in my story. But, in these two instances, I admit 
that I am much in sympathy with ' Arthur.' In my 
opinion, far too many sermons are expected from our 
preachers ; and, as a consequence, a great many are 
preached, which are not worth listening to ; and, as a 
consequence of that, we are very apt not to listen. 
The reader of this paragraph probably heard a sermon 
last Sunday morning ? Well, let him, if he can, name 
the text, and state how the preacher treated it ! 

Then, as-to ' Choristers,' and all the other accessories 

of music, vestments, processions, &c., which 

have come, along with them, into fashion while freely 

admitting that the ' Ritual ' movement was sorely 
needed, and that it has effected a vast improvement 
in our Church-Services, which had become dead and 
dry to the last degree, I hold that, like many other 
desirable movements, it has gone too far in the oppo- 
site direction, and has introduced many new dangers. 

For the Congregation this new movement involves 
the danger of learning to think that the Services are 
done for them ; and that their bodily presence is all 
they need contribute. And, for Clergy and Con- 
gregation alike, it involves the danger of regarding 
these elaborate Services as ends in themselves, and 
of forgetting that they are simply means, and the 
very hollo west of mockeries, unless they bear fruit in 
our lives. 

b 2 



xx PREFACE. 

For the Choristers it seems to involve the danger 
of self-conceit, as described at p. 274 (N.B. " stagy- 
entrances " is a misprint for " stage-entrances "), the 
danger of regarding those parts of the Service, where 
their help is not required, as not worth attending to, 
the danger of coming to regard the Service as a mere 

outward form a series of postures to be assumed, 

and of words to be said or sung, while the thoughts 

are elsewhere and the danger of ' familiarity ' 

breeding ' contempt ' for sacred things. 

Let me illustrate these last two forms of danger, 
from my own experience. Not long ago, I attended 
a Cathedral-Service, and was placed immediately 
behind a row of men, members of the Choir ; and I 
could not help noticing that they treated the Lessons 
as a part of the Service to which they needed not to 
give any attention, and as affording them a convenient 
opportunity for arranging music-books, &c., &c. Also 
I have frequently seen a row of little choristers, after 
marching in procession to their places, kneel down, as 
if about to pray, and rise from their knees after a 
minute spent in looking about them, it being but too 
evident that the attitude was a mere mockery. Surely 
it is very dangerous, for these children, to thus ac- 
custom them to pretend to pray ? As an instance of 
irreverent treatment of holy things, I will mention a 
custom, which no doubt many of my readers have 
noticed in Churches where the Clergy and Choir enter 
in procession, viz. that, at the end of the private de- 
votions, which are carried on in the vestry, and which 
are of course inaudible to the Congregation, the final 



PREFACE. xxi 

" Amen " is shouted, loud enough to be heard all 
through the Church. This serves as a signal, to the 
Congregation, to prepare to rise when the procession 
appears : and it admits of no dispute that it is for this 
purpose that it is thus shouted. When we remember 
to Whom that " Amen " is really addressed, and con- 
sider that it is here used for the same purpose as one 
of the Church-bells, we must surely admit that it is a 
piece of gross irreverence ? To me it is much as if 
I were to see a Bible used as a footstool. 

As an instance of the dangers, .for the Clergy 
themselves, introduced by this new movement, let 
me mention the fact that, according to my experi- 
ence, Clergymen of this school are specially apt to 
retail comic anecdotes, in which the most sacred 

names and words sometimes actual texts from 

the Bible are used as themes for jesting. Many 

such things are repeated as having been originally 
said by children, whose utter ignorance of evil must 
no doubt acquit them, in the sight of God, of all 
blame ; but it must be otherwise for those who 
consciously use such innocent utterances as material 
for their unholy mirth. 

Let me add, however, most earnestly, that I fully 
believe that this profanity is, in many cases, wwcon- 
scious : the ' environment ' (as I have tried to explain 
at p. 123) makes all the difference between man and 
man ; and I rejoice to think that many of these pro- 
fane stories which / find so painful to listen to, 

and should feel it a sin to repeat give to their ears 

no pain, and to their consciences no shock ; and that 



xxii PREFACE. 

they can utter, not less sincerely than myself, the 
two prayers, " Hallowed be TJiy Name" and "from 
hardness of heart, and 'contempt of Thy Word and 
Commandment, Good Lord, deliver us ! " To which 
I would desire to add, for their sake and for my own, 
Keble's beautiful petition, "help us, this and every day, 
To live more nearly as we pray /" It is, in fact, for 
its consequences for the grave dangers, both to speaker 
and to hearer, which it involves rather than for what 
it is in itself, that I mourn over this clerical habit of 
profanity in social talk. To the believing hearer it 
brings the danger of loss of reverence for holy things, 
by the mere act of listening to, and enjoying, such 
jests ; and also the temptation to retail them for the 
amusement of others. To the unbelieving hearer it 
brings a welcome confirmation of his theory that 
religion is a fable, in the spectacle of its accredited 
champions thus betraying their trust. And to the 
speaker himself it must surely bring the danger of 
loss of faith. For surely such jests, if uttered with 
no consciousness of harm, must necessarily be also 
uttered with no consciousness, at the moment, of the 
reality of God, as a living being-,-who hears all we say. 
And he, who allows himself the habit of thus uttering 
holy words, with no thought of their meaning, is but 
too likely to find that, for him, God has become a 
myth, and heaven a poetic fancy that, for him, the 
light of life is gone, and that he is at heart an atheist, 
lost in " darkness that may be felt." 

There is, I fear, at the present time, an increasing 
tendency to irreverent treatment of the name of God 



PREFACE. xxiii 

and of subjects connected with religion. Some of 
our theatres are helping this downward movement by 
the gross caricatures of clergymen which they put 
upon the stage : some of our clergy are themselves 
helping it, by showing that they can lay aside the 
spirit of reverence, along with their surplices, and can 
treat as jests, when outside their churches, names and 
things to which they pay an almost superstitious 
veneration when inside: the " Salvation Army" has, 
I fear, with the best intentions, done much to help it, 
by the coarse familiarity with which they treat holy 
things : and surely every one, who desires to live in 
the spirit of the prayer " Hallowed be thy Name" 
ought to do what he can, however little that may be, 
to check it So I have gladly taken this unique 
opportunity, however unfit the topic may seem for the 
Preface to a book of this kind, to express some 
thoughts which have weighed on my mind for a long 
time. I did not expect, when I wrote the Preface to 
Vol. I, that it would be read to any appreciable ex- 
tent : but I rejoice to believe, from evidence that has 
reached me, that it has been read by many, and to 
hope that this Preface will also be so : and I think 
that, among them, some will be found ready to 
sympathise with the views I have put forwards, and 
ready to help, with their prayers and their example, 
the revival, in Society, of the waning spirit of 
reverence. 

Christmas, 1893. 



CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER PAGE 

i. BRUNO'S LESSONS i 

II. LOVE'S CURFEW 20 

III. STREAKS OF DAWN 36 

IV. THE DOG-KING 52 

V. MATILDA JANE 67 

vi. WILLIE'S WIFE 82 

VI T. FORTUNATUS* PURSE 96 

VIII. IN A SHADY PLACE IIO 

IX. THE FAREWELL-PARTY 128 

X. JABBERING AND JAM 147 

XI. THE MAN IN THE MOON 162 

XII. FAIRY-MUSIC 175 

XIII. WHAT TOTTLES MEANT 194 

xiv. : BRUNO'S PICNIC , . 212 



CONTENTS. xxvii 

CHAPTER PAGE 

XV. THE LITTLE FOXES 233 

XVI. BEYOND THESE VOICES 247 

XVII. TO THE RESCUE.' 262 

XVIII. A NEWSPAPER-CUTTING 282 

XIX. A FAIRY-DUET 287 

XX. GAMMON AND SPINACH 310 

xxi. THE PROFESSOR'S LECTURE 329 

XXII. THE BANQUET 346 

XXIII. THE PIG-TALE 363 

xxiv. THE BEGGAR'S RETURN 381 

XXV. LIFE OUT OF DEATH 400 

GENERAL INDEX 413 

LIST OF WORKS 426 



ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. I. 

PAGE 

THE MARCH-UP 3 

VISITING THE PROFESSOR II 

BOOTS FOR HORIZONTAL WEATHER 15 

A PORTABLE PLUNGE-BATH 24 

REMOVAL OF UGGUG 41 

' WHAT A GAME ! ' 48 

' DRINK THIS ! ' 53 

'COME, YOU BE OFF !. ' 62 

THE GARDENER 66 

A BEGGAR'S PALACE Front. 

THE CRIMSON LOCKET ... - 77 

'HE THOUGHT HE SAW A BUFFALO' 79 

'IT WAS A HIPPOPOTAMUS' 91 

THE MAP OF FAIRYLAND 96 

'HE THOUGHT HE SAW A KANGAROO' 106 

THE MOUSE-LION IO8 

'HAMMER IT IN ! ' 115 

A BEAR WITHOUT A HEAD 117 

'COME UP, BRUIN!' 123 

THE OTHER PROFESSOR 135 

' HOW CHEERFULLY THE BOND HE SIGNED ! ' ... 144 

'POOR PETER SHUDDERED IN DESPAIR' 147 



ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. I. xxix 

PAGE 

'SUCH BOOTS AS THESE YOU SELDOM SEE' .... 150 

'I WILL LEND YOU FIFTY MORE!' 154 

'HE THOUGHT HE SAW AN ALBATROSS' 165 

THE MASTIFF-SENTINEL ...' 172 

THE DOG-KING , . 176 

FAIRY-SYLVIE 193 

BRUNO'S REVENGE ' 213 

FAIRIES RESTING 226 

A CHANGED CROCODILE 229 

A LECTURE ON ART 240 

'THREE BADGERS ON A MOSSY STONE' 247 

'THE FATHER-BADGER, WRITHING IN A CAVE* . . . 249 

'THOSE AGED ONES WAXED GAY' 252 

' HOW PERFECTLY ISOCHRONOUS ! ' 268 

THE LAME CHILD 280 

'IT WENT IN TWO HALVES' 285 

FIVE O'CLOCK TEA 296 

' WHAT'S THE MATTER, DARLING ? ' 307 

THE DEAD HARE 321 

CROSSING THE LINE 341 

'THE PUG-DOG SAT UP' 351 

THE QUEEN'S BABY 363 

THE FROGS' BIRTHDAY-TREAT 373 

' HE WRENCHED OUT THAT CROCODILE'S TOOF ! ' . . 380 

'LOOK EASTWARD!' 395 



ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. II. 



PAGE 



SYLVIE'S TRUANT-PUPIL . . 8 

KING FISHER'S WOOING 15 

'SPEND IT ALL FOR MINNIE' 22 

' ARE NOT THOSE ORCHISES ? ' 50 

A ROYAL THIEF-TAKER 62 

' SUMMAT WRONG Wl' MY SPECTACLES !'.... 64 

BESSIE'S SONG 75 

THE RESCUE OF WILLIE 83 

WILLIE'S WIFE 88 

FORTUNATUS' PURSE 103 

'I AM SITTING AT YOUR FEET' 119 

MEIN HERR'S FAIRY-FRIENDS 163 

'HOW CALL YOU THE OPERA?' ....... 178 

SCHOLAR-HUNTING : THE PURSUED 1 88 

SCHOLAR-HUNTING : THE PURSUERS 189 

THE EGG-MERCHANT 197 

STARTING FOR BRUNO'S PICNIC 230 

'ENTER THE LION' . . . . 236 

' WHIHUAUCH ! WHIHUAUCH ! ' 242 

' NEVER ! ' YELLED TOTTLES 248 

BRUNO'S BED-TIME . . 265 

' LONG CEREMONIOUS CALLS ' ... 266 



ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. II. xxxi 

PAGE 

THE VOICES 267 

'HIS SOUL SHALL BE SAD FOR THE SPIDER' . . . 268 

LORDS OF THE CREATION 271 

'WILL YOU NOT SPARE ME?' 277 

IN THE CHURCH-YARD 2QI 

A FAIRY-DUET Front. 

THE OTHER PROFESSOR FOUND 317 

'HER IMPERIAL HIGHNESS is SURPRISED!' ... 326 

'HE THOUGHT HE SAW AN ELEPHANT' . . . . 335 

AN EXPLOSION 345 

'A CANNOT SHAK' HANDS wi' THEE!' 350 

THE OTHER PROFESSOR'S FALL 352 

'TEACHING TIGRESSES TO SMILE ' 365 

'HORRID WAS THAT PIG'S DESPAIR!' 367 

THE FATAL JUMP 369 

'BATHING CROCODILES IN CREAM' .... . 371 

THAT PIG LAY STILL AS ANY STONE' 372 

'STILL HE SITS IN MISERIE' 373 

' BLESSED BY HAPPY STAGS ' 377 

THE OLD BEGGAR'S RETURN 382 

' PORCUPINE !'.... 386 

' GOOD-NIGHT, PROFESSOR ! ' 395 

'HIS WIFE KNELT DOWN AT HIS SIDE' .... 401 

THE BLUE LOCKET 405 

' IT IS LOVE ! ' 407 



SYLVIE AND BRUNO 
CONCLUDED. 

CHAPTER I. 

BRUNO'S LESSONS. 

DURING the next month or two my solitary 
town-life seemed, by contrast, unusually dull 
and tedious. I missed . the pleasant friends I 
had left behind at Elveston the genial inter- 
change of thought the sympathy which gave 

to one's ideas a new and vivid reality : but, 
perhaps more than all, I missed the companion- 
ship of the two Fairies or Dream-Children, 

for I had not yet solved the problem as to 
who or what they were whose sweet playful- 
ness had shed a magic radiance over my life. 

In office-hours which I suppose reduce 

most men to the mental condition of a coffee- 
IE B 



2 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

mill or a mangle time sped along much as 

usual : it was in the pauses of life, the desolate 
hours when books and newspapers palled on 
the sated appetite, and when, thrown back 
upon one's own dreary musings, one strove 

all in vain to people the vacant air with the 

dear faces of absent friends, that the real bitter- 
ness of solitude made itself felt. 

One evening, feeling my life a little more 
wearisome than usual, I strolled down to my 
Club, not so much with the hope of meeting 
any friend there, for London was now ' out of 
town,' as with the feeling that here, at least, 
I should hear ' sweet words of human speech/ 
and come into contact with human thought. 

However, almost the first face I saw there 
was that of a friend. Eric Lindon was loung- 
ing, with rather a 'bored' expression of face, 
over a newspaper ; and we fell into conversa- 
tion with a mutual satisfaction which neither 
of us tried to conceal. 

After a while I ventured to introduce what 
was just then the main subject of my thoughts. 
"And so the Doctor" (a name we had adopted 
by a tacit agreement, as a convenient com- 



i] BRUNO'S LESSONS. 3 

promise between the formality of ' Doctor 

Forester' and the intimacy to which Eric 

Lindon hardly seemed entitled of 'Arthur') 

"has gone abroad by this time, I suppose? 
Can you give me his present address ? " 

" He is still at Elveston 1 believe," was 

the reply. "But I have not been there since 
I last met you." 

I did not know which part of this intelligence 

to wonder at most. " And might I ask if 

it isn't taking too much of a liberty when 

your wedding-bells are to or perhaps they 

have rung, already ? " 

" No," said Eric, in a steady voice, which 
betrayed scarcely a trace of emotion : "//^en- 
gagement is at an end. I am still ' Benedick 
the //Tzmarried man.' ' 

After this, the thick-coming fancies all 

radiant with new possibilities of happiness for 

Arthur were far too bewildering to admit of 

any further conversation, and I was only too 
glad to avail myself of the first decent excuse, 
that offered itself, for retiring into silence. 

The next day I wrote to Arthur, with as 
much of a reprimand for his long silence as I 

B 2 



4 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

could bring myself to put into words, begging 
him to tell me how the world went with him. 

Needs must that three or four days pos- 
sibly more should elapse before I could 

receive his reply ; and never had I known days 
drag their slow length along with a more tedi- 
ous indolence. 

To while away the time, I strolled, one after- 
noon, into Kensington Gardens, and, wandering 
aimlessly along any path that presented itself, 
I soon became aware that I had somehow 
strayed into one that was wholly new to me. 
Still, my elfish experiences seemed to have so 
completely faded out of my life that nothing 
was further from my thoughts than the idea of 
again meeting my fairy-friends, when I chanced 
to notice a small creature, moving among the 
grass that fringed the path, that did not seem 
to be an insect, or a frog, or any other living 
thing that I could think of. Cautiously kneel- 
ing down, and making an ex tempore cage of 
my two hands, I imprisoned the little wanderer, 
.and felt a sudden thrill of surprise and delight 
on discovering that my prisoner was no other 
than Bruno himself! 



i] BRUNO'S LESSONS. 5 

Bruno took the matter very coolly, and, when 
I had replaced him on the ground, where he 
would be within easy conversational distance, 
he began talking, just as if it were only a few 
minutes since last we had met. 

" Doos oo know what the Rule is," he en- 
quired, " when oo catches a Fairy, withouten 
its having tolded oo where it was ? " (Bruno's 
notions of English Grammar had certainly not 
improved since our last meeting.) 

" No," I said. " I didn't know there was any 
Rule about it." 

" I think oo've got a right to eat me," said 
the little fellow, looking up into my face with a 
winning smile. " But I'm not pruffickly sure. 
Oo'd better hot do it wizout asking." 

It did indeed seem reasonable not to take so 
irrevocable a step as that, without due enquiry. 
" I'll certainly ask about it, first," I said. " Be- 
sides, I don't know yet whether you would be 
worth eating ! " 

" I guess I'm deliriously good to eat," Bruno 
remarked in a satisfied tone, as if it were some- 
thing to be rather proud of. 

" And what are you doing here, Bruno ?" 



6 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Tkafs not iny name!" said my cunning 
little friend. " Don't oo know my name's ' Oh 
Bruno ! ' ? That's what Sylvie always calls me, 
when- I says mine lessons." 

" Well then, what are you doing here, oh 
Bruno?" 

" Doing mine lessons, a-course ! " With 
that roguish twinkle in his eye, that always 
came when he knew he was talking nonsense. 

" Oh, thafs the way you do your lessons, 
is it ? And do you remember them well ? " 

" Always can 'member mine lessons," said 
Bruno. " It's Sylvie s lessons that's so dreffully 
hard to 'member ! '' He frowned, as if in 
agonies of thought, and tapped his forehead 
with his knuckles. " I cant think enough to 
understand them!" he said despairingly. " It 
wants double thinking, I believe ! " 

" But where's Sylvie gone ? " 

" That's just what / want to know ! " said 
Bruno disconsolately. " What ever's the good 
of setting me lessons, when she isn't here to 
'splain the hard bits ? " 

" /'// find her for you ! " I volunteered ; and, 
getting up, I wandered round the tree under 



i] BRUNO'S LESSONS. 7 

whose shade I had been reclining, looking on 
all sides for Sylvie. In another minute I again 
noticed some strange thing moving among the 
grass, and, kneeling down, was immediately 
confronted with Sylvie's innocent face, lighted 
up with a joyful surprise at seeing me, and was 
accosted, in the sweet voice I knew so well, 
with what seemed to be the end of a sentence 
whose beginning I had failed to catch. 

" - - and I think he ought to have finished 
them by this time. So I'm going back to him. 
Will you come too ? It's only just round at 
the other side of this tree." 

It was but a few steps for me ; but it was a 
great many for Sylvie ; and I had to be very 
careful to walk slowly, in order not to leave 
the little creature so far behind as to lose 
sight of her. 

To find Bruno's lessons was easy enough : 
they appeared to be neatly written out on large 
smooth ivy-leaves, which were scattered in some 
confusion over a little patch of ground where 
the grass had been worn away ; but the pale 
student, who ought by rights to have been 
bending over them, was nowhere to be seen : 



SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




we looked in all directions, for some time, In 
vain ; but at last Sylvie's sharp eyes detected 
him, swinging on a tendril of ivy, and Sylvie's 
stern voice commanded his instant return to 
terra firma and to the business of Life. 



I] BRUNO'S LESSONS. 9 

"Pleasure first and business afterwards" 
seemed to be the motto of these tiny folk, so 
many hugs and kisses had to be interchanged 
before anything else could be done. 

" Now, Bruno," Sylvie said reproachfully, 
" didn't I tell you you were to go on with your 
lessons, unless you heard to the contrary ? " 

" But I did heard to the contrary ! " Bruno 
insisted, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. 

" What did you hear, you wicked boy ?" 

" It were a sort of noise in the air," said 
Bruno : " a sort of a scrambling noise. Didn't 
oo hear it, Mister Sir ? " 

" Well, anyhow, you needn't go to sleep over 
them, you lazy-lazy ! " For Bruno had curled 
himself up, on the largest ' lesson,' and was 
arranging another as a pillow. 

" I ivasnt asleep ! " said Bruno, in a deeply- 
injured tone. " When I shuts mine eyes, it's 
to show that I'm awake!" 

:( Well, how much have you learned, then ?" 

" I've learned a little tiny bit," said Bruno, 
modestly, being evidently afraid of overstating 
his achievement. " Cant learn no more ! " 

" Oh Bruno ! You know you can, if you like." 



io SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Course I can, if I like" the pale student 
replied ; "but I ca'n't if I dorit like !" 

Sylvie had a way which I could not too 

highly admire of evading Bruno's logical 

perplexities by suddenly striking into a new 
line of thought ; and this masterly stratagem 
she now adopted. 

" Well, I must say one thing " 

" Did oo know, Mister Sir," Bruno thought- 
fully remarked, " that Sylvie ca'n't count ? 
Whenever she says ' I must say one thing,' I 
know quite well she'll say two things ! And 
she always doos." 

" Two heads are better than one, Bruno," I 
said, but with no very distinct idea as to what 
I meant by it. 

" I shouldn't mind having two heads" Bruno 
said softly to himself : " one head to eat mine 
dinner, and one head to argue wiz Sylvie 
doos oo think oo'd look prettier if oo'd got 
two heads, Mister Sir ? " 

The case did not, I assured him, admit of a 
doubt. 

" The reason why Sylvie's so cross- 
Bruno went on very seriously, almost sadly. 



i] BRUNO'S LESSONS. n 

Sylvie's eyes grew large and round with 

surprise at this new line of enquiry her rosy 

face being perfectly radiant with good humour. 
But she said nothing. 

" Wouldn't it be better to tell me after the 
lessons are over ? " I suggested. 

" Very well," Bruno said with a resigned air : 
" only she wo'n't be cross then." 

" There's only three lessons to do," said Sylvie. 
"Spelling, and Geography, and Singing." 

" Not Arithmetic ?" I said. 

" No, he hasn't a head for Arithmetic 

"Course I haven't!" said Bruno. "Mine 
head's for hair. \ haven't got a lot of heads ! " 

" - - and he ca'n't learn his Multiplication- 
table " 

" I like History ever so much better," Bruno 
remarked. " Oo has to repeat that Muddlecome 
table " 

" Well, and you have to repeat 

" No, oo hasn't ! " Bruno interrupted. " His- 
tory repeats itself. The Professor said so ! " 

Sylvie was arranging some letters on a 

board E V I L. " Now, Bruno," she 

said, " what does that spell ?" 



12 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Bruno looked at it, in solemn silence, for a 
minute. " I knows what it doosrit spell ! " he 
said at last. 

" That's no good," said Sylvie. " What does 
it spell?" 

Bruno took another look at the mysterious 
letters. "Why, it's 'LIVE,' backwards!" he 
exclaimed. (I thought it was, indeed.) 

" How did you manage to see that ? " said 
Sylvie. 

" I just twiddled my eyes," said Bruno, 
" and then I saw it directly. Now may I 
sing the King-fisher Song ?" 

" Geography next," said Sylvie. " Don't you 
know the Rules ? " 

" I thinks there oughtn't to be such a lot of 
Rules, Sylvie ! I thinks 

" Yes, there ought to be such a lot of Rules, 
you wicked, wicked boy ! And how dare you 
think at all about it ? And shut up that 
mouth directly ! " 

So, as ' that mouth ' didn't seem inclined to 

shut up of itself, Sylvie shut it for him with 

both hands and sealed it with a kiss, just as 

you would fasten up a letter. 



l] BRUNO'S LESSONS. 13 

" Now that Bruno is fastened up from 
talking," she went on, turning to me, " I'll 
show you the Map he does his lessons on." 

And there it was, a large Map of the World, 
spread out on the ground. It was so large that 
Bruno had to crawl about on it, to point out the 
places named in the 'King-fisher Lesson.' 

" When a King-fisher sees a Lady-bird flying 
away, he says ' Ceylon, if you Candia /' And 
when he catches it, he says ' Come to Media ! 
And if you're Hungary or thirsty, I'll give you 
some Nubia / ' When he takes it in his claws, 
he says ' Europe ! ' When he puts it into his 
beak, he says ' India ! ' When he's swallowed 
it, he says ' Eton / ' That's all." 

" That's quite perfect," said Sylvie. " Now 
you may sing the King-fisher Song." 

"Will oo sing the chorus ? " Bruno said to me. 

I was just beginning to say " I'm afraid I 
don't know the words" when Sylvie silently 
turned the map over, and I found the words 
were all written on the back. In one respect 
it was a very peculiar song : the chorus to each 
verse came in the middle., instead of at the end 
of it. However, the tune was so easy that I 



14 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

soon picked it up, and managed the chorus as 
well, perhaps, as it is possible for one person to 
manage such a thing. It was in vain that I 
signed to Sylvie to help me : she only smiled 
sweetly and shook her head. 



"King Fislier courted Lady Bird 

Sing Beans, sing Bones, sing Butterflies ! 
' Find me my match,' he said, 
' With sucJi a noble head 
With such a beard, as white as curd 
With stick expressive eyes ! ' 



" ' Yet pins have heads,' said Lady Bird- 



Sing Prunes, sing Prawns, sing Primrose-Hill ! 

' A nd, where you stick tliem in, 
They stay, and thus a pin 
Is very much to be preferred 
To one that's never still /' 



" ' Oysters have beards ,' said Lady Bird 
Sing Flies, sing Frogs, sing Fiddle-strings ! 
' / love them, for I knoiv 
They never chatter so : 
They would not say one single word 
Not if you crowned them Kings ! ' 



BRUNO'S LESSONS. 




" ' Needles Jiave eyes,' said Lady Bird- 



Sing Cats, sing Corks, sing Cowslip-tea! 

' And they are sJiarp -justwJiat 

Your Majesty is not : 
So get you gone 'tis too absurd 

To come a-courting me ! ' ' 



16 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

"So he went away," Bruno added as a kind 
of postscript, when the last note of the song 
had died away. " Just like he always did." 

" Oh, my dear Bruno ! " Sylvie exclaimed, 
with her hands over her ears. "You shouldn't 
say ' like ' : you should say ' what! ' 

To which Bruno replied, doggedly, " I only 
says ' what ! ' when oo doosn't speak loud, so 
as I can hear oo." 

" Where did he go to ?" I asked, hoping to 
prevent an argument. 

" He went more far than he'd never been 
before," said Bruno. 

"You should never say 'more far,'" Sylvie 
corrected him : " you should say 'farther' ' 

" Then oo shouldn't say ' more broth,' when 
we're at dinner," Bruno retorted : " oo should 
say ' brother ' I " 

This time Sylvie evaded an argument by 
turning away, and beginning to roll up the 
Map. " Lessons are over ! " she proclaimed 
in her sweetest tones. 

" And has there been no crying over them ? " 
I enquired. " Little boys always cry over their 
lessons, don't they ? " 



i] BRUNO'S LESSONS. 17 

" I never cries after twelve o'clock," said 
Bruno: "'cause then it's getting so near to 
dinner-time." 

" Sometimes, in the morning," Sylvie said in 
a low voice ; " when it's Geography-day, and 
when he's been disobe 

" What a fellow you are to talk, Sylvie ! " 
Bruno hastily interposed. " Doos oo think 
the world was made for oo to talk in ? " 

" Why, where would you have me talk, 
then ? " Sylvie said, evidently quite ready for 
an argument. 

But Bruno answered resolutely. " I'm not 
going to argue about it, 'cause it's getting late, 

and there wo'n't be time but oo's as 'ong as 

ever oo can be ! " And he rubbed the back of 
his hand across his eyes, in which tears were 
beginning to glitter. 

Sylvie s eyes filled with tears in a moment. 
" I didn't mean it, Bruno, darling /" she whis- 
pered ; and the rest of the argument was lost 
'amid the tangles of Nea^ra's hair,' while the 
two disputants hugged and kissed each other. 

But this new form of argument was brought 
to a sudden end by a flash of lightning, which 

c 



i8 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

was closely followed by a peal of thunder, and 
by a torrent of rain-drops, which came hissing 
and spitting, almost like live creatures, through 
the leaves of the tree that sheltered us. 

" Why, it's raining cats and dogs ! " I said. 

"And all the dogs has come down first" 
said Bruno : " there's nothing but cats coming 
down now ! " 

In another minute the pattering ceased, as 
suddenly as it had begun. I stepped out from 
under the tree, and found that the storm was 
over ; but I looked in vain, on my return, for 
my tiny companions. They had vanished with 
the storm, and there was nothing for it but to 
make the best of my way home. 

On the table lay, awaiting my return, an 
envelope of that peculiar yellow tint which 
always announces a telegram, and which must 
be, in the memories of so many of us, in- 
separably linked with some great and sudden 

sorrow something that has cast a shadow, 

never in this world to be wholly lifted off, on 
the brightness of Life. No doubt it has also 

heralded for many of us some sudden 

news of joy ; but this, I think, is less common : 



I] BRUNO'S LESSONS. 19 

human life seems, on the whole, to contain 
more of sorrow than of joy. And yet the 
world goes on. Who knows why ? 

This time, however, there was no shock of 
sorrow to be faced : in fact, the few words it 
contained (" Could not bring myself to write. 
Come soon. Always welcome. A letter follows 
this. Arthur.") seemed so like Arthur himself 
speaking, that it gave me quite a thrill of 
pleasure, and I at once began the preparations 
needed for the journey. 



CHAPTER II. 

LOVE'S CURFEW. 

" FAYFIELD Junction ! Change for Elveston!" 
What subtle memory could there be, linked 
to these commonplace words, that caused such 
a flood of happy thoughts to fill my brain ? I 
dismounted from the carriage in a state of 
joyful excitement for which I could not at first 
account. True, I had taken this very journey, 
and at the same hour of the day, six months 
ago ; but many things had happened since 
then, and an old man's memory has but a 
slender hold on recent events : I sought ' the 
missing link ' in vain. Suddenly I caught 
sight of a bench the only one provided on 



II] LOVE'S CURFEW. 21 

the cheerless platform with a lady seated 

on it, and the whole forgotten scene flashed 
upon me as vividly as if it were happening 
over again. 

"Yes," I thought. " This bare platform is, 
for me, rich with the memory of a dear friend ! 
She was sitting on that very bench, and in- 
vited me to share it, with some quotation from 

Shakespeare 1 forget what. I'll try the 

Earl's plan for the Dramatisation of Life, and 
fancy that figure to be Lady Muriel ; and I 
won't undeceive myself too soon ! " 

So I strolled along the platform, resolutely 
' making-believe ' (as children say) that the 
casual passenger, seated on that bench, was 
the Lady Muriel I remembered so well. She 
was facing away from me, which aided the 
elaborate cheatery I was practising on myself : 
but, though I was careful, in passing the spot, 
to look the other way, in order to prolong the 
pleasant illusion, it was inevitable that, when I 
turned to walk back again, I should see who 
it was. It was Lady Muriel herself! 

The whole scene now returned vividly to 
my memory ; and, to make this repetition of 



22 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED 




it stranger still, there was the same old man, 
whom I remembered seeing so roughly ordered 
off, by the Station- Master, to make room for 
his titled passenger. The same, but ' with a 
difference ' : no longer tottering feebly along 
the platform, but actually seated at Lady 
Muriel's side, and in conversation with her ! 
" Yes, put it in your purse," she was saying, 
" and remember you're to spend it all for 
Minnie. And mind you bring her something 
nice, that'll do her real good ! And give her 



n] LOVE'S CURFEW. 23 

my love ! " So intent was she on saying these 
words, that, although the sound of my footstep 
had made her lift her head and look at me, 
she did not at first recognise me. 

I raised my hat as I approached, and then 
there flashed across her face a genuine look 
of joy, which so exactly recalled the sweet face 
of Sylvie, when last we met in Kensington 
Gardens, that I felt quite bewildered. 

Rather than disturb the poor old man at her 
side, she rose from her seat, and joined me in 
my walk up and down the platform, and for a 
minute or two our conversation was as utterly 
trivial and commonplace as if we were merely 
two casual guests in a London drawing-room. 
Each of us seemed to shrink, just at first, 
from touching on the deeper interests which 
linked our lives together. 

The Elveston train had drawn up at the 
platform, while we talked ; and, in obedience 
to the Station-Master's obsequious hint of 
" This way, my Lady ! Time's up ! ", we were 
making the best of our way towards the end 
which contained the sole first-class carriage, 
and were just passing the now-empty bench, 



24 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

when Lady Muriel noticed, lying on it, the 
purse in which her gift had just been so 
carefully bestowed, the owner of which, all 
unconscious of his loss, was being helped into 
a carriage at the other end of the train. She 
pounced on it instantly. " Poor old man ! " 
she cried. " He mustn't go off, and think 
he's lost it ! " 

" Let me run with it ! I can go quicker 
than you ! " I said. But she was already 
half-way down the platform, flying (' running ' 
is much too mundane a word for such fairy- 
like motion) at a pace that left all possible 
efforts of mine hopelessly in the rear. 

She was back again before I had well com- 
pleted my audacious boast of speed in running, 
and was saying, quite demurely, as we entered 
our carriage, " and you really think you could 
have done it quicker ? " 

" No indeed ! " I replied. " I plead ' Guilty ' 
of gross exaggeration, and throw myself on the 
mercy of the Court ! " 

" The Court will overlook it for this 

once ! " Then her manner suddenly changed 
from playfulness to an anxious gravity. 



n] LOVE'S CURFEW. 25 

" You are not looking your best ! " she said 
with an anxious glance. "In fact, I think you 
look more of an invalid than when you left us. 
I very much doubt if London agrees with you ? " 

"It may be the London air," I said, " or it 

may be the hard work or my rather lonely 

life : anyhow, I've not been feeling very well, 
lately. But Elveston will soon set me up 

again. Arthur's prescription he's my doctor, 

you know, and I heard from him this morn- 
ing is ' plenty of ozone, and new milk, and 

pleasant society : ! " 

" Pleasant society ? " said Lady Muriel, with 
a pretty make-believe of considering the 
question. " Well, really I don't know where 
we can find that for you ! We have so few 
neighbours. But new milk we can manage. Do 
get it of my old friend Mrs. Hunter, up there, 
on the hill-side. You may rely upon the 
quality. And her little Bessie comes to school 
every day, and passes your lodgings. So it 
would be very easy to send it." 

" I'll follow your advice, with pleasure," I 
said ; " and I'll go and arrange about it to- 
morrow. I know Arthur will want a walk." 



26 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" You'll find it quite an easy walk under 

three miles, I think." 

" Well, now that we've settled that point, let 
me retort your own remark upon yourself. I 
don't think you re looking quite your best ! " 

" I daresay not," she replied in a low voice ; 
and a sudden shadow seemed to overspread her 
face. " I've had some troubles lately. It's a 
matter about which I've been long wishing to 
consult you, but I couldn't easily write about 
it. I'm so glad to have this opportunity ! " 

" Do you think," she began again, after a 
minute's silence, and with a visible embarrass- 
ment of manner most unusual in her, " that 
a promise, deliberately and solemnly given, is 

always binding except, of course, where its 

fulfilment would involve some actual sin ? " 

" I ca'n't think of any other exception at this 
moment," I said. " That branch of casuistry 
is usually, I believe, treated as a question of 
truth and untruth 

"Surely that is the principle?" she eagerly 
interrupted. " I always thought the Bible- 
teaching about it consisted of such texts as 
' lie not one to another ' ? " 



ll] LOVE'S CURFEW. 27 

" I have thought about that point," I re- 
plied ; " and it seems to me that the essence of 
lying\s the intention of deceiving. If you give 
a promise, fully intending to fulfil it, you are 
certainly acting truthfully then; and, if you 
afterwards break it, that does not involve 
any deception. I cannot call it untruthful" 

Another pause of silence ensued. Lady 
Muriel's face was hard to read : she looked 
pleased, I thought, but also puzzled ; and I 
felt curious to know whether her question 
had, as I began to suspect, some bearing on 
the breaking off of her engagement with 
Captain (now Major) Lindon. 

" You have relieved me from a great fear," 
she said ; " but the thing is of course wrong, 
somehow. What texts would you quote, to 
prove it wrong ? " 

"Any that enforce the payment of debts. 
If A promises something to B, B has a claim 
upon A. And A's sin, if he breaks his 
promise, seems to me more analogous to 
stealing than to lying." 

" It's a new way of looking at it to me," 

she said ; "but it seems a true way, also. 



28 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

However, I won't deal in generalities, with 
an old friend like you ! For we are old 
friends, somehow. Do you know, I think we 
began as old friends ? " she said with a play- 
fulness of tone that ill accorded with the tears 
that glistened in her eyes. 

" Thank you very much for saying so," I 
replied. " I like to think of you as an old 

friend," ( <{ though you don't look it ! " would 

have been the almost necessary sequence, with 
any other lady ; but she and I seemed to have 
long passed out of the time when compliments, 
or any such trivialities, were possible.) 

Here the train paused at a station, where 
two or three passengers entered the carriage ; 
so no more was said till we had reached our 
journey's end. 

On our arrival at Elveston, she readily 
adopted my suggestion that we should walk 
up together ; so, as soon as our luggage had 
been duly taken charge of hers by the ser- 
vant who met her at the station, and mine by 

one of the porters we set out together along 

the familiar lanes, now linked in my memory 
with so many delightful associations. Lady 



n] LOVE'S CURFEW. 29 

Muriel at once recommenced the conversation 
at the point where it had been interrupted. 

"You knew of my engagement to my 
cousin Eric. Did you also hear 

" Yes," I interrupted, anxious to spare her 
the pain of giving any details. " I heard it 
had all come to an end." 

" I would like to tell you how it happened," 
she said ; "as that is the very point I want 
your advice about. I had long realised that 
we were not in sympathy in religious belief. 
His ideas of Christianity are very shadowy; 
and even as to the existence of a God he lives 
in a sort of dreamland. But it has not affected 
his life ! I feel sure, now, that the most abso- 
lute Atheist may be leading, though walking 
blindfold, a pure and noble life. And if you 
knew half the good deeds " she broke off 
suddenly, and turned away her head. 

" I entirely agree with you," I said. " And 
have we not our Saviour's own promise that 
such a life shall surely lead to the light ? " 

" Yes, I know it," she said in a broken voice, 
still keeping her head turned away. "And so 
I told him. He said he would believe, for my 



30 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED 

sake, if he could. And he wished, for my sake, 
he could see things as I did. But that is all 
wrong ! " she went on passionately. " God 
cannot approve such low motives as that ! 
Still it was not / that broke it off. I knew 
he loved me ; and I had promised ; and 
"Then it was he that broke it off?" 
" He released me unconditionally." She 
faced me again now, having quite recovered 
her usual calmness of manner. 

" Then what difficulty remains ? " 
" It is this, that I don't believe he did it of 
his own free will. Now, supposing he did it 
against his will, merely to satisfy my scruples, 
would not his claim on me remain just as 
strong as ever ? And would not my promise 
be as binding as ever ? My father says 
' no ' ; but I ca'n't help fearing he is biased 
by his love for me. And I've asked no one 

else. I have many friends friends for the 

bright sunny weather ; not friends for the 
clouds and storms of life ; not old friends 
like you ! " 

" Let me think a little," I said : and for 
some minutes we walked on in silence, while 



ii] LOVE'S CURFEW. 31 

pained to the heart at seeing the bitter trial 
that had come upon this pure and gentle soul, 
I strove in vain to see my way through the 
tangled skein of conflicting motives. 

"If she loves him truly," (I seemed at last 
to grasp the clue to the problem) " is not that, 
for her, the voice of God ? May she not hope 
that she is sent to him, even as Ananias was 
sent to Saul in his blindness, that he may re- 
ceive his sight ? " Once more I seemed to 
hear Arthur whispering " What knowest thou, 
O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband ? " 
and I broke the silence with the words " If 
you still love him truly 

"I do not!" she hastily interrupted. "At 

least not in that way. I believe I loved him 

when I promised ; but I was very young : it 
is % hard to know. But, whatever the feeling 
was, it is dead now. The motive on his side 
is Love : on mine it is Duty ! " 

Again there was a long silence. The whole 
skein of thought was tangled worse than ever. 
This time she broke the silence. " Don't mis- 
understand me ! " she said. " When I said my 
heart was not his, I did not mean it was any 



32 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

one else's ! At present I feel bound to him ; 
and, till I know I am absolutely free, in the 
sight of God, to love any other than him, 

I'll never even think of any one else in 

that way, I mean. I would die sooner ! " I 
had never imagined my gentle friend capable 
of such passionate utterances. 

I ventured on no further remark until we 
had nearly arrived at the Hall-gate ; but, the 
longer I reflected, the clearer it became 
to me that no call of Duty demanded the 

sacrifice possibly of the happiness of a life 

which she seemed ready to make. I tried 

to make this clear to her also, adding some 
warnings on the dangers that surely awaited 
a union in which mutual love was wanting. 
" The only argument for it, worth consider- 
ing," I said in conclusion, " seems to be his 
supposed reluctance in releasing you from 
your promise. I have tried to give to that 
argument its full weight, and my conclusion 
is that it does not affect the rights of the 
case, or invalidate the release he has given 
you. My belief is that you are entirely free 
to act as now seems right." 



II] LOVE'S CURFEW. 33 

" I am very grateful to you," she said 
earnestly. " Believe it, please ! I ca'n't put 
it into proper words ! " and the subject was 
dropped by mutual consent : and I only 
learned, long afterwards, that our discussion 
had really served to dispel the doubts that 
had harassed her so long. 

We parted at the Hall-gate, and I found 
Arthur eagerly awaiting my arrival ; and, before 
we parted for the night, I had heard the whole 

story how he had put off his journey from 

day to day, feeling that he could not go away 
from the place till his fate had been irrevocably 
settled by the wedding taking place : how the 
preparations for the wedding, and the excite- 
ment in the neighbourhood, had suddenly come 
to an end, and he had learned (from Major 
Lindon, who called to wish him good-bye) that 
the engagement had been broken off by mutual 
consent : how he had instantly abandoned all 
his plans for going abroad, and had decided to 
stay on at Elveston, for a year or two at any 
rate, till his newly-awakened hopes should 
prove true or false ; and how, since that 
memorable day, he had avoided all meetings 

D 



34 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

with Lady Muriel, fearing to betray his 
feelings before he had had any sufficient 
evidence as to how she regarded him. " But 
it is nearly six weeks since all that happened," 
he said in conclusion, " and we can meet in the 
ordinary way, now, with no need for any painful 
allusions. I would have written to tell you all 
this : only I kept hoping from day to day, 
that that there would be more to tell ! " 

" And how should there be more, you foolish 
fellow," I fondly urged, " if you never even go 
near her ? Do you expect the offer to come 
from her ? " 

Arthur was betrayed into a smile. " No," 
he said, " I hardly expect that. But I'm a 
desperate coward. There's no doubt about it ! " 

" And what reasons have you heard of for 
breaking off the engagement ? " 

"A good many," Arthur replied, and pro- 
ceeded to count them on his fingers. "First, it 

was found that she was dying of something ; 

so he broke it off. Then it was found that he 

was dying of some other thing ; so she broke 

it off. Then the Major turned out to be a 
confirmed gamester ; so the Earl broke it off. 



n] LOVE'S CURFEW. 35 

Then the Earl insulted him ; so the Major 
broke it off. It got a good deal broken off, all 
things considered ! " 

" You have all this on the very best authority, 
of course ? " 

" Oh, certainly ! And communicated in the 
strictest confidence ! Whatever defects Elves- 
ton society suffers from, want of information 
isn't one of them ! " 

"Nor reticence, either, it seems. But, se- 
riously, do you know the real reason ? " 

" No, I'm quite in the dark." 

I did not feel that I had any right to 
enlighten him ; so I changed the subject, to the 
less engrossing one of " new milk," and we 
agreed that I should walk over, next day, to 
Hunter's farm, Arthur undertaking to set me 
part of the way, after which he had to return 
to keep a business-engagement. 



D 2 



CHAPTER III. 

STREAKS OF DAWN. 

NEXT day proved warm and sunny, and we 
started early, to enjoy the luxury of a good long 
chat before he would be obliged to leave me. 

" This neighbourhood has more than its due 
proportion of the very poor," I remarked, as 
we passed a group of hovels, too dilapidated 
to deserve the name of "cottages." 

" But the few rich," Arthur replied, " give 
more than their due proportion of help in 
charity. So the balance is kept." 

" I suppose the Earl does a good deal ? " 

" He gives liberally ; but he has not the 
health or strength to do more. Lady Muriel 



in] STREAKS OF DAWN. 37 

does more in the way of school-teaching and 
cottage-visiting than she would like me to 
reveal." 

" Then she, at least, is not one of the ' idle 
mouths ' one so often meets with among the 
upper classes. I have sometimes thought they 
would have a hard time of it, if suddenly 
called on to give their raison detre, and to 
show cause why they should be allowed to 
live any longer ! " 

" The whole subject," said Arthur, " of what 
we may call 'idle mouths' (I mean persons 
who absorb some of the material wealth of a 

community -in the form of food, clothes, and 

so on without contributing its equivalent in 

the form of productive labour] is a compli- 
cated one, no doubt. I've tried to think it 
out. And it seemed to me that the simplest 
form of the problem, to start with, is a com- 
munity without money, who buy and sell by 
barter only ; and it makes it yet simpler to 
suppose the food and other things to be capable 
of keeping for many years without spoiling." 

" Yours is an excellent plan," I said. " What 
is your solution of the problem ? " 



38 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

"The commonest type of 'idle mouths,'' 
said Arthur, "is no doubt due to money being 
left by parents to their own children. So I 

imagined a man either exceptionally clever, 

or exceptionally strong and industrious 
who had contributed so much valuable labour 
to the needs of the community that its equiv- 
alent, in clothes, &c., was (say) five times as 
much as he needed for himself. We cannot 
deny his absolute right to give the superfluous 
wealth as he chooses. So, if he leaves four 
children behind him (say two sons and two 
daughters), with enough of all the necessaries 
of life to last them a life-time, I cannot see 
that the community is in any way wronged if 
they choose to do nothing in life but to ' eat, 
drink, and be merry.' Most certainly, the 
community could not fairly say, in reference to 
them, ' if a man will not work, neither let htm 
eat." Their reply would be crushing. 'The 
labour has already been done, which is a fair 
equivalent for the food we are eating ; and 
you have had the benefit of it. On what 
principle of justice can you demand two quotas 
of work for one quota of food ? ' 



in] STREAKS OF DAWN. 39 

" Yet surely," I said, " there is something 
wrong somewhere, if these four people are well 
able to do useful work, and if that work is 
actually needed by the community, and they 
elect to sit idle ? " 

" I think there is" said Arthur : "but it 
seems to me to arise from a Law of God- 
that every one shall do as much as he can 

to help others and not from any rights, on 

the part of the community, to exact labour as 
an equivalent for food that has already been 
fairly earned." 

" I suppose the second form of the problem 
is where the ' idle mouths ' possess money in- 
stead of material wealth ? " 

"Yes," replied Arthur: "and I think the 
simplest case is that of paper- money. Gold 
is itself a form of material wealth ; but a bank- 
note is merely a promise to hand over so 
much material wealth when called upon to do 
so. The father of these four 'idle mouths,' 
had done (let us say) five thousand pounds' 
worth of useful work for the community. In 
return for this, the community had given him 
what amounted to a written promise to hand 



40 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

over, whenever called upon to do so, five 
thousand pounds' worth of food, &c. Then, 
if he only uses one thousand pounds' worth 
himself, and leaves the rest of the notes to his 
children, surely they have a full right to pre- 
sent these written promises, and to say ' hand 
over the food, for which the equivalent labour 
has been already done.' Now I think this 
case well worth stating, publicly and clearly. 
I should like to drive it into the heads of 
those Socialists who are priming our ignorant 
paupers with such sentiments as ' Look at 
them bloated haristocrats ! Doing not a stroke 
o' work for theirselves, and living on the sweat 
of our brows ! ' I should like to force them 
to see that the money, which those ' haristo- 
crats' are spending, represents so much labour 
already done for the community, and whose 
equivalent, in material wealth, is due from 
the community" 

" Might not the Socialists reply ' Much of 
this money does not represent honest labour 
at all. If you could trace it back, from owner 
to owner, though you might begin with several 
legitimate steps, such as gift, or bequeathing 



in] STREAKS OF DAWN. 41 

by will, or ' value received,' you would soon 
reach an owner who had no moral right to 
it, but had got it by fraud or other crimes ; 
and of course his successors in the line would 
have no better right to it than he had." 

" No doubt, no doubt," Arthur replied. 
" But surely that involves the logical fallacy 
of proving too much ? It is quite as applic- 
able to material wealth, as it is to money. If 
we once begin to go back beyond the fact 
that the present owner of certain property 
came by it honestly, and to ask whether any 
previous owner, in past ages, got it by fraud, 
would any property be secure ? " 

After a minute's thought, I felt obliged to 
admit the truth of this. 

" My general conclusion," Arthur continued, 
" from the mere standpoint of human rights, 

man against man, was this that if some 

wealthy ' idle mouth,' who has come by his 
money in a lawful way, even though not one 
atom of the labour it represents has been his 
own doing, chooses to spend it on his own 
needs, without contributing any labour to the 
community from whom he buys his food and 



42 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

clothes, that community has no right to inter- 
fere with him. But it's quite another thing, 
when we come to consider' the divine law. 
Measured by that standard, such a man is 
undoubtedly doing wrong, if he fails to use, 
for the good of those in need, the strength 
or the skill, that God has given him. That 
strength and skill do not belong to the com- 
munity, to be paid to them as a debt: they 
do not belong to the man himself, to be used 
for his own enjoyment : they do belong to God, 
to be used according to His will ; and we are 
not left in doubt as to what that will is. ' Do 
good, and lend, hoping for nothing again' ' 

"Anyhow," I said, "an 'idle mouth' very 
often gives away a great deal in charity." 

"In so-called 'charity,'" he corrected me. 
" Excuse me if I seem to speak uncharitably. 
I would not dream of applying the term to 
any individztal. But I would say, generally, 
that a man who gratifies every fancy that 

occurs to him denying himself in nothing 

and merely gives to the poor some part, or 
even all, of his superfluous wealth, is only 
deceiving himself if he calls it charity.'" 



ill] STREAKS OF DAWN. 43 

" But, even in giving away superfluous 
wealth, he may be denying himself the miser's 
pleasure in hoarding ? " 

" I grant you that, gladly," said Arthur. 
"Given that he kas that morbid craving, he 
is doing a good deed in restraining it." 

" But, even in spending on himself" I per- 
sisted, " our typical rich man often does good, 
by employing people who would otherwise be 
out of work : and that is often better than 
pauperising them by giving the money." 

"I'm glad you've said that!" said Arthur. 
" I would not like to quit the subject without 

exposing the two fallacies of that statement 

which have gone so long uncontradicted that 
Society now accepts it as an axiom ! " 

"What are they?" I said. "I don't even 
see one, myself." 

" One is merely the fallacy of ambiguity 
the assumption that ' doing good' (that is, bene- 
fiting somebody) is necessarily a good thing to 
do (that is, a right thing). The other is the 
assumption that, if one of two specified acts 
is better than another, it is necessarily a good 
act in itself. I should like to call this the 



44 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

fallacy of comparison meaning that it as- 
sumes that what is comparatively good is 
therefore positively good." 

" Then what is your test of a good act ? " 

" That it shall be our best'' Arthur con- 
fidently replied. " And even then ' we are 
unprofitable servants.' But let me illustrate 
the two fallacies. Nothing illustrates a fal- 
lacy so well as an extreme case, which fairly 
comes under it. Suppose I find two children 
drowning in a pond. I rush in, and save one 
of the children, and then walk away, leaving 
the other to drown. Clearly I have 'done good,' 
in saving a child's life ? But . Again, 
supposing I meet an inoffensive stranger, and 
knock him down, and walk on. Clearly that 
is 'better' than if I had proceeded to jump 
upon him and break his ribs ? But 

"Those ' buts ' are quite unanswerable," I 
said. " But I should like an instance from 
real life." 

" Well, let us take one of those abomina- 
tions of modern Society, a Charity- Bazaar. 

It's an interesting question to think out how 

much of the money, that reaches the object in 



ill] STREAKS OF DAWN. 45 

view, is genuine charity ; and whether even 
that is spent in the best way. But the subject 
needs regular classification, and analysis, to 
understand it properly." 

" I should be glad to have it analysed," I 
said : "it has often puzzled me." 

"Well, if I am really not boring you. Let 
us suppose our Charity- Bazaar to have been 
organised to aid the funds of some Hospital : 
and that A, B, C give their services in making 
articles to sell, and in acting as salesmen, 
while X, Y, Z buy the articles, and the money 
so paid goes to the Hospital. 

" There are two distinct species of such 
Bazaars : one, where the payment exacted is 
merely the market-value of the goods supplied, 
that is, exactly what you would have to pay at 
a shop : the other, where fancy-prices are 
asked. We must take these separately. 

"First, the 'market-value' case. Here A, 
B, C are exactly in the same position as ordinary 
shopkeepers ; the only difference being that 
they give the proceeds to the Hospital. Prac- 
tically, they are giving their skilled labour for 
the benefit of the Hospital. This seems to 



46 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

me to be genuine charity. And I don't see 
how they could use it better. But X, Y, Z, 
are exactly in the same position as any 
ordinary purchasers of goods. To talk of 
' charity ' in connection with their share of the 
business, is sheer nonsense. Yet they are 
very likely to do so. 

"Secondly, the case of 'fancy-prices.' Here 
I think the simplest plan is to divide the pay- 
ment into two parts, the ' market-value ' and 
the excess over that. The ' market-value ' 
part is on the same footing as in the first case : 
the excess is all we have to consider. Well, 
A, B, C do not earn it ; so we may put them 
out of the question : it is a gift, from X, Y, Z, 
to the Hospital. And my opinion is that it is 
not given in the best way : far better buy what 
they choose to buy, and give what they choose 
to give, as two separate transactions : then 
there is some chance that their motive in giving 
may be real charity, instead of a mixed 

motive half charity, half self-pleasing. ' The 

trail of the serpent is over it all.' And there- 
fore it is that I hold all such spurious 
' Charities ' in utter abomination ! " He ended 



in] STREAKS OF DAWN. 47 

with unusual energy, and savagely beheaded, 
with his stick, a tall thistle at the road-side, 
behind which I was startled to see Sylvie 
and Bruno standing. I caught at his arm, 
but too late to stop him. Whether the 
stick reached them, or not, I could not feel 
sure : at any rate they took not the smallest 
notice of it, but smiled gaily, and nodded to 
me ; and I saw at once that they were only 
visible to me : the ' eerie ' influence had not 
reached to Arthur. 

"Why did you try to save it?" he said. 
" Thafs not the wheedling Secretary of a 
Charity-Bazaar! I only wish it were!" he 
added grimly. 

" Doos oo know, that stick went right froo 
my head ! " said Bruno. (They had run round 
to me by this time, and each had secured a 
hand.) " Just under my chin ! I are glad I 
aren't a thistle ! " 

" Well, we've threshed that subject out, 
anyhow !" Arthur resumed. "I'm afraid I've 
been talking too much, for your patience and 
for my strength. I must be turning soon. 
This is about the end of my tether." 



48 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Take, O boatman, thrice thy fee ; 
Take, I give it willingly ; 
For, invisible to thee, 
Spirits twain Jiave crossed ivitJi me ! " 

I quoted, involuntarily. 

" For utterly inappropriate and irrelevant 
quotations," laughed Arthur, " you are 'ekalled 
by few, and excelled by none ' ! " And we 
strolled on. 

As we passed the head of the lane that led 
down to the beach, I noticed a single figure, 
moving slowly along it, seawards. She was a 
good way off, and had her back to us : but it 
was Lady Muriel, unmistakably. Knowing 
that Arthur had not seen her, as he had been 
looking, in the other direction, at a gathering 
rain-cloud, I made no remark, but tried to 
think of some plausible pretext for sending 
him back by the sea. 

The opportunity instantly presented itself. 
" I'm getting tired," he said. " I don't think 
it would be prudent to go further. I had 
better turn here. 

I turned with him, for a few steps, and as 
we again approached the head of the lane, I 



in] STREAKS OF DAWN. 49 

said, as carelessly as I could, " Don't go back 
by the road. It's too hot and dusty. Down 
this lane, and along the beach, is nearly as 
short ; and you'll get a breeze off the sea." 

"Yes, I think I will," Arthur began ; but at 
that moment we came into sight of Lady 
Muriel, and he checked himself. " No, it's 
too far round. Yet it certainly would be 

cooler He stood, hesitating, looking 

first one way and then the other a melan- 
choly picture of utter infirmity of purpose ! 

How long this humiliating scene would have 
continued, if / had been the only external 
influence, it is impossible to say ; for at this 
moment Sylvie, with a swift decision worthy 
of Napoleon himself, took the matter into 
her own hands. " You go and drive her, up 
this way," she said to Bruno. " I'll get him 
along ! " And she took hold of the stick that 
Arthur was carrying, and gently pulled him 
down the lane. 

He was totally unconscious that any will 
but his own was acting on the stick, and 
appeared to think it had taken a horizontal 
position simply because he was pointing with 

E 



50 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




it. "Are not those orchises under the hedge 
there ? " he said. " I think that decides me. 
I'll gather some as I go along." 

Meanwhile Bruno had run on beyond Lady 
Muriel, and, with much jumping about and shout- 
ing (shouts audible to no one but Sylvie and 
myself), much as if he were driving sheep, he 
managed to turn her round and make her 



ill] STREAKS OF DAWN. 51 

walk, with eyes demurely cast upon the ground, 
in our direction. 

The victory was ours ! And, since it was 
evident that the lovers, thus urged together, 
must meet in another minute, I turned and 
walked on, hoping that Sylvie and Bruno 
would follow my example, as I felt sure that 
the fewer the spectators the better it would be 
for Arthur and his good angel. 

"And what sort of meeting was it?" I 
wondered, as I paced dreamily on. 



CHAPTER IV. 

T^E DOG-KING. 

" THEY shocked hands," said Bruno, who 
was trotting at my side, in answer to the un- 
spoken question. 

" And they looked ever so pleased ! " Sylvie 
added from the other side. 

"Well, we must get on, now, as quick as we 
can," I said. "If only I knew the best way to 
Hunter's farm ! " 

" They'll be sure to know in this cottage," 
said Sylvie. 

" Yes, I suppose they will. Bruno, would 
you run in and ask ? " 



iv] THE DOG-KING. 53 

Sylvie stopped him, laughingly, as he ran off. 
"Wait a minute," she said. " I must make you 
visible first, you know." 

"And audible too, I suppose ? " I said, as she 
took the jewel, that hung round her neck, and 
waved it over his head, and touched his eyes 
and lips with it. 

" Yes," said Sylvie : " and once, do you know, 
I made him audible, and forgot to make him 
visible ! And he went to buy some sweeties in 
a shop. And the man was so frightened ! A 
voice seemed to come out of the air, ' Please, I 
want two ounces of barley-sugar drops ! ' And 
a shilling came bang down upon the counter ! 
And the man said ' I ca'n't see you ! ' And 
Bruno said ' It doosn't sinnify seeing me, so 
long as oo can see the shilling!' But the man 
said he never sold barley-sugar drops to people 

he couldn't see. So we had to Now, Bruno, 

you're ready ! " And away he trotted. 

Sylvie spent the time, while we were waiting 
for him, in making herself visible also. '' It's 
rather awkward, you know," she explained to 
me, "when we meet people, and they can see 
one of us, and ca'n't see the other ! " 



54 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

In a minute or two Bruno returned, looking 
rather disconsolate. " He'd got friends with 
him, and he were cross ! " he said. " He asked 
me who I were. And I said ' I'm Bruno : who 
is these peoples ? ' And he said ' One's my 
half-brother, and t'other's my half-sister : and I 
don't want no more company ! Go along with 
yer ! ' And I said 'I ca'n't go along wizout 
mine self!' And I said ' Oo shouldn't have bits 
of peoples lying about like that! It's welly 
untidy ! ' And he said ' Oh, don't talk to me ! ' 
And he pushted me outside ! And he shutted 
the door ! " 

" And you never asked where Hunter's farm 
was ? " queried Sylvie. 

" Hadn't room for any questions," said 
Bruno. " The room were so crowded." 

" Three people couldrit crowd a room," said 
Sylvie. 

"They did, though," Bruno persisted. "He 
crowded it most. He's such a welly thick 
man so as oo couldn't knock him down." 

I failed to see the drift of Bruno's argument. 
" Surely anybody could be knocked down," I 
said : "thick or thin wouldn't matter." 



iv] THE DOG-KING. 55 

" Oo couldn't knock him down," said Bruno. 
" He's more wider than he's high : so, when 
he's lying down, he's more higher than when 
he's standing : so a-course oo couldn't knock 
him down ! " 

" Here's another cottage," I said: "/Y/ask 
the way, this time." 

There was no need to go in, this time, as the 
woman was standing in the doorway, with a 
baby in her arms, talking to a respectably 

dressed man a farmer, as I guessed who 

seemed to be on his way to the town. 

and when there's drink to be had," he 
was saying, " he's just the worst o' the lot, is 
your Willie. So they tell me. He gets fairly 
mad wi' it ! " 

"I'd have given 'em the lie to their faces, a 
twelvemonth back ! " the woman said in a 
broken voice. " But a' canna noo ! A' canna 
noo ! " She checked herself, on catching sight 
of us, and hastily retreated into the house, 
shutting the door after her. 

" Perhaps you can tell me where Hunter's 
farm is ? " I said to the man, as he turned away 
from the house. 



56 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" I can that, Sir ! " he replied with a smile. 
" I'm John Hunter hissel, at your sarvice. 

It's nobbut half a mile further the only 

house in sight, when you get round bend o' the 
road yonder. You'll find my good woman 
within, if so be you've business wi' her. Or 
mebbe I'll do as well ? " 

" Thanks," I said. " I want to order some 
milk. Perhaps I had better arrange it with 
your wife ? " 

"Aye," said the man. "She minds all that. 

Good day t'ye, Master and to your bonnie 

childer, as well ! " And he trudged on. 

" He should have said ' child', not ' childer ' '," 
said Bruno. " Sylvie's not a childer ! " 

" He meant both of us," said Sylvie. 

" No, he didn't ! " Bruno persisted. " 'cause 
he said ' bonnie ', oo know ! " 

"Well, at any rate he looked at us both," 
Sylvie maintained. 

" Well, then he must have seen we're not 
both bonnie!" Bruno retorted. " A-course I'm 
much uglier than oo ! Didn't he mean Sylvie, 
Mister Sir ? " he shouted over his shoulder, as 
he ran off. 



iv] THE DOG-KING. 57 

But there was no use in replying, as he had 
already vanished round the bend of the road. 
When we overtook him he was climbing a 
gate, and was gazing earnestly into the field, 
where a horse, a cow, and a kid were browsing 
amicably together. " For its father, a Horse" 
he murmured to himself. " For its mother, a 
Cow. For their dear little child, a little Goat, 
is the most curiousest thing I ever seen in my 
world ! " 

"Bruno's World!" I pondered. "Yes, I 
suppose every child has a world of his own 
and every man, too, for the matter of that. 
I wonder if that's the cause for all the mis- 
understanding there is in Life ? " 

" That must be Hunter's farm ! " said Sylvie, 
pointing to a house on the brow of the hill, led 
up to by a cart-road. " There's no other farm 
in sight, this way ; and you said we must be 
nearly there by this time." 

I had thought it, while Bruno was climbing 
the gate, but I couldn't remember having said 
it. However, Sylvie was evidently in the 
right. " Get down, Bruno," I said, " and open 
the gate for us." 



$8 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

"It's a good thing we's with oo, isnt it, 
Mister Sir ? " said Bruno, as we entered the 
field. " That big dog might have bited oo, if 
oo'd been alone ! Oo needn't be /lightened 
of it ! " he whispered, clinging tight to my hand 
to encourage me. "It aren't fierce ! " 

" Fierce ! " Sylvie scornfully echoed, as the 

dog a magnificent Newfoundland that had 

come galloping down the field to meet us, 
began curveting round us, in gambols full of 
graceful beauty, and welcoming us with short 
joyful barks. " Fierce ! Why, it's as gentle 

as a lamb ! It's why, Bruno, don't you 

know it ? It's 

" So it are ! " cried Bruno, rushing forwards 
and throwing his arms round its neck. " Oh, 
you dear dog !" And.it seemed as if the two 
children would never have done hugging and 
stroking it. 

" And how ever did he get here? " said Bruno. 
" Ask him, Sylvie. I doosn't know how." 

And then began an eager talk in Doggee, 
which of course was lost upon me ; and I could 
only guess, when the beautiful creature, with 
a sly glance at me, whispered something in 



iv] THE DOG-KING. 59 

Sylvie's ear, that / was now the subject of con- 
versation. Sylvie looked round laughingly. 

"He asked me who you are," she explained. 
"And I said 'He's out friend' And he said 
' What's his name ? ' And I said ' It's Mister 
Sir: And he said 'Bosh!'" 

" What is ' Bosh ! ' in Doggee ? " I enquired. 

" It's the same as in English," said Sylvie. 
" Only, when a dog says it, it's a sort of a 
whisper, that's half a cough and half a bark. 
Nero, say 'Bosh!'" 

And Nero, who had now begun gamboling 
round us again, said " Bosh ! " several times ; 
and I found that Sylvie's description of the 
sound was perfectly accurate. 

" I wonder what's behind this long wall ? " 
I said, as we walked on. 

" It's the Orchard" Sylvie replied, after a 
consultation with Nero. " See, there's a boy 
getting down off the wall, at that far corner. 
And now he's running away across the field. I 
do believe he's been stealing the apples ! " 

Bruno set off after him, but returned to us in 
a few moments, as he had evidently no chance 
of overtaking the young rascal. 



60 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" I couldn't catch him! " he said. " Iwiss 
I'd started a little sooner. His pockets was 
full of apples ! " 

The Dog-King looked up at Sylvie, and 
said something in Doggee. 

" Why, of course you. can ! " Sylvie exclaimed. 
"How stupid not to think of it ! Nero\\ hold 
him for us, Bruno ! But I'd better make him 
invisible, first." And she hastily got out the 
Magic Jewel, and began waving it over Nero's 
head, and down along his back. 

" That'll do ! " cried Bruno, impatiently. 
"After him, good Doggie!" 

" Oh, Bruno ! " Sylvie exclaimed reproach- 
fully. " You shouldn't have sent him off so 
quick ! I hadn't done the tail ! " 

Meanwhile Nero was coursing like a grey- 
hound down the field : so at least I concluded 

from all / could see of him the long feathery 

tail, which floated like a meteor through the 

air and in a very few seconds he had come 

up with the little thief. 

" He's got him safe, by one foot ! " cried 
Sylvie, who was eagerly watching the chase. 
14 Now there's no hurry, Bruno ! " 



iv] THE DOG-KING. 61 

So we walked, quite leisurely, down the 
field, to where the frightened lad stood. A 
more curious sight I had seldom seen, in all 
my ' eerie ' experiences. Every bit of him was 
in violent action, except the left foot, which was 

apparently glued to the ground there being 

nothing visibly holding it : while, at some little 
distance, the long feathery tail was waving 
gracefully from side to side, showing that Nero, 
at least, regarded the whole affair as nothing 
but a magnificent game of play. 

" What's the matter with you ? " I said, as 
gravely as I could. 

" Got the crahmp in me ahnkle ! " the thief 
groaned in reply. " An' me fut's gone to 
sleep ! " And he began to blubber aloud. 

" Now, look here ! " Bruno said in a com- 
manding tone, getting in front of him. " Oo've 
got to give up those apples ! " 

The lad glanced at me, but didn't seem 
to reckon my interference as worth anything. 
Then he glanced at Sylvie : she clearly didn't 
count for very much, either. Then he took 
courage. " It'll take a better man than any of 
yer to get 'em ! " he retorted defiantly. 



62 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




iv] THE DOG-KING. 63 

Sylvie stooped and patted the invisible Nero. 
" A little tighter ! " she whispered. And a sharp 
yell from the ragged boy showed how promptly 
the Dog- King had taken the hint. 

" What's the matter now?" I said. "Is 
your ankle worse ? " 

" And it'll get worse, and worse, and worse,'' 
Bruno solemnly assured him, " till oo gives 
up those apples ! " 

Apparently the thief was convinced of this 
at last, and he sulkily began emptying his 
pockets of the apples. The children watched 
from a little distance, Bruno dancing with 
delight at every fresh yell extracted from 
Nero's terrified prisoner. 

" That's all," the boy said at last. 

"It isrit all ! " cried Bruno. " There's three 
more in that pocket ! " 

Another hint from Sylvie to the Dog- King 
another sharp yell from the thief, now 

convicted of lying also and the remaining 

three apples were surrendered. 

" Let him go, please," Sylvie said in Doggee, 
and the lad limped away at a great pace, 
stooping now and then to rub the ailing ankle, 



64 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




iv] THE DOG-KING. 65 

in fear, seemingly, that the ' crahmp ' might 
attack it again. 

Bruno ran back, with his booty, to the 
orchard wall, and pitched the apples over it 
one by one. " I's welly afraid some of them's 
gone under the wrong trees ! " he panted, on 
overtaking us again. 

" The wrong trees ! " laughed Sylvie. " Trees 
cant do wrong ! There's no such things as 
wrong trees ! " 

" Then there's no such things as right 
trees, neither ! " cried Bruno. And Sylvie gave 
up the point. 

"Wait a minute, please!" she said to me. 
"I must make Nero visible, you know!" 

" No, please don't ! " cried Bruno, who had 
by this time mounted on the Royal back, and 
was twisting the Royal hair into a bridle. 
" It'll be such fun to have him like this ! " 

"Well, it does look funny," Sylvie admitted, 
and led the way to the farm-house, where the 
farmer's wife stood, evidently much perplexed 
at the weird procession now approaching her. 
" It's summat gone wrong wi' my spectacles, 
I doubt ! " she murmured, as she took them 



66 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

off, and began diligently rubbing them with a 
corner of her apron. 

Meanwhile Sylvie had hastily pulled Bruno 
down from his steed, and had just time to make 
His Majesty wholly visible before the spectacles 
were resumed. 

All was natural, now ; but the good woman 
still looked a little uneasy about it. " My 
eyesight's getting bad," she said, "but I see 
you now, my darlings ! You'll give me a kiss, 
wo'n't you ? " 

Bruno got behind me, in a moment : however 
Sylvie put up her face, to be kissed, as repre- 
sentative of both, and we all went in together. 









CHAPTER V. 

MATILDA JANE. 

" COME to me, my little gentleman,'' said 
our hostess, lifting Bruno into her lap, "and 
tell me everything." 

" I ca'n't," said Bruno. " There wouldn't be 
time. Besides, I don't know everything." 

The good woman looked a little puzzled, 
and turned to Sylvie for help. " Does he like 
riding ? " she asked. 

" Yes, I think so," Sylvie gently replied. 
" He's just had a ride on JVero." 

" Ah, Nero's a grand dog, isn't he ? Were 
you ever outside a horse, my little man ? " 

F 2 



68 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Always /" Bruno said with great decision. 
" Never was inside one. Was oo ? " 

Here I thought it well to interpose, and to 
mention the business on which we had come, 
and so relieved her, for a few minutes, from 
Bruno's perplexing questions. 

" And those dear children will like a bit of 
cake, /'//warrant ! " said the farmer's hospitable 
wife, when the business was concluded, as she 
opened her cupboard, and brought out a cake. 
"And don't you waste the crust, little gentle- 
man ! " she added, as she handed a good slice 
of it to Bruno. " You know what the poetry- 
book says about wilful waste ?" 

" No, I dont," said Bruno. " What doos he 
say about it ? " 

" Tell him, Bessie ! " And the mother looked 
down, proudly and lovingly, on a rosy little 
maiden, who had just crept shyly into the room, 
and was leaning against her knee. " W T hat's 
that your poetry-book says about wilful waste ? " 

"For wilful waste makes woeful want" Bessie 
recited, in an almost inaudible whisper: "and you 
may live to say ' How much I wish 1 had the 
crust that then I threw away / ' 



v] MATILDA JANE. 69 

" Now try if you can say it, my dear ! For 
wilful 

"For wifful siimfinoruvver " Bruno be- 
gan, readily enough ; and then there came a 
dead pause. " Ca'n't remember no more ! " 

" Well, what do you learn from it, then ? You 
can tell us that, at any rate ? " 

Bruno ate a little more cake, and considered : 
but the moral did not seem to him to be a very 
obvious one. 

"Always to Sylvie prompted him in 

a whisper. 

" Always to ' Bruno softly repeated : and 
then, with sudden inspiration, " always to look 
where it goes to ! " 

" Where what goes to, darling ? " 

" Why the crust, a course ! " said Bruno. 
"Then, if I lived to say 'How much I wiss 

I had the crust ' (and all that), I'd know 

where I frew it to ! " 

This new interpretation quite puzzled the 
good woman. She returned to the subject of 
'Bessie.' "Wouldn't you like to see Bessie's 
doll, my dears ! Bessie, take the little lady and 
gentleman to see Matilda Jane ! " 



70 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Bessie's shyness thawed away in a moment. 
" Matilda Jane has just woke up," she stated, 
confidentially, to Sylvie. " Wo'n't you help 
me on with her frock ? Them strings is such 
a bother to tie ! " 

" I can tie strings," we heard, in Sylvie's 
gentle voice, as the two little girls left the room 
together. Bruno ignored the whole proceeding, 
and strolled to the window, quite with the air of 
a fashionable gentleman. Little girls, and dolls, 
were not at all in his line. 

And forthwith the fond mother proceeded to 
tell me (as what mother is not ready to do ?) 
of all Bessie's virtues (and vices too, for the 
matter of that) and of the many fearful maladies 
which, notwithstanding those ruddy cheeks and 
that plump little figure, had nearly, time and 
again, swept her from the face of the earth. 

When the full stream of loving memories had 
nearly run itself out, I began to question her 
about the working men of that neighbourhood, 
and specially the ' Willie.' whom we had heard 
of at his cottage. "He was a good fellow 
once," said my kind hostess : " but it's the drink 
has ruined him ! Not that I'd rob them of the 



v] MATILDA JANE. 71 

drink it's good for the most of them 

but there's some as is too weak to stand 
agin' temptations : it's a thousand pities, for 
them, as they ever built the Golden Lion at 
the corner there ! " 

" The Golden Lion ? " I repeated. 

" It's the new Public," my hostess explained. 
" And it stands right in the way. and handy 
for the workmen, as they come back from the 
brickfields, as it might be to-day, with their 
week's wages. A deal of money gets wasted 
that way. And some of 'em gets drunk." 

" If only they could have it in their own 
houses " I mused, hardly knowing I had said 
the words out loud. 

" That's it ! " she eagerly exclaimed. It was 
evidently a solution, of the problem, that she 
had already thought out. "If only you could 
manage, so's each man to have his own little 

barrel in his own house there'd hardly be 

a drunken man in the length and breadth of 
the land ! " 

And then I told her the old story about 

a certain cottager who bought himself a little 
barrel of beer, and installed his wife as bar- 



72 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

keeper : and how, every time he wanted his 
mug of beer, he regularly paid her over the 
counter for it : and how she never would let 
him go on ' tick,' and was a perfectly inflexible 
bar-keeper in never letting him have more than 
his proper allowance : and how, every time the 
barrel needed refilling, she had plenty to do it 
with, and something over for her money-box : 
and how, at the end of the year, he not 
only found himself in first-rate health and spirits, 
with that undefinable but quite unmistakeable 
air which always distinguishes the sober man 
from the one who takes ' a drop too much,' but 
had quite a box full of money, all saved out of 
his own pence ! 

" If only they'd all do like that!" said the 
good woman, wiping her eyes, which were over- 
flowing with kindly sympathy. " Drink hadn't 
need to be the curse it is to some 

" Only a curse," I said, " when it is used 
wrongly. Any of God's gifts may be turned 
into a curse, unless we use it wisely. But 
we must be getting home. Would you call the 
little girls ? Matilda Jane has seen enough 
of company, for one day, I'm sure ! " 



v] MATILDA JANE. 73 

" I'll find 'em in a minute," said my hostess, 
as she rose to leave the room. " Maybe that 
young gentleman saw which way they went ? " 

" Where are they, Bruno ?" I said. 

" They ain't in the field," was Bruno's rather 
evasive reply, " 'cause there's nothing but pigs 
there, and Sylvie isn't a pig. Now don't 
imperrupt me any more, 'cause I'm telling a 
story to this fly ; and it won't attend ! " 

"They're among the apples, I'll warrant 
'em ! " said the Farmer's wife. So we left 
Bruno to finish his story, and went out into the 
orchard, where we soon came upon the children, 
walking sedately side by side, Sylvie carrying 
the doll, while little Bess carefully shaded, its 
face, with a large cabbage-leaf for a parasol. 

As soon as they caught sight of us, little Bess 
dropped her cabbage-leaf and came running to 
meet us, Sylvie following more slowly, as her 
precious charge evidently needed great care 
and attention. 

" I'm its Mamma, and Sylvie's the Head- 
Nurse," Bessie explained : "and Sylvie's taught 
me ever such a pretty song, for me to sing to 
Matilda Jane ! " 



74 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Let's hear it once more, Sylvie," I said, 
delighted at getting the chance I had long 
wished for, of hearing her sing. But Sylvie 
turned shy and frightened in a moment. " No, 
please not ! " she said, in an earnest ' aside ' to 
me. " Bessie knows it quite perfect now. 
Bessie can sing it ! " 

" Aye, aye ! Let Bessie sing it ! " said the 
proud mother. " Bessie has a bonny voice of 
her own," (this again was an ' aside ' to me) 
" though I say it as shouldn't ! " 

Bessie was only too happy to accept the 
' encore.' So the plump little Mamma sat 
down at our feet, with her hideous daughter 
reclining stiffly across her lap (it was one of 
a kind that wo'n't sit down, under any amount 
of persuasion), and, with a face simply beaming 
with delight, began the lullaby, in a shout that 
ought to have frightened the poor baby into fits. 
The Head-Nurse crouched down behind her, 
keeping herself respectfully in the back-ground, 
with her hands on the shoulders of her little 
mistress, so as to be ready to act as Prompter, 
if required, and to supply ' each gap in faithless 
memory void' 



v] 



MATILDA JANE. 



75 




The shout, with which she began, proved to 
be only a momentary effort. After a very few 
notes, Bessie toned down, and sang on in a 
small but very sweet voice. At first her great 
black eyes were fixed on her mother, but soon 
her gaze wandered upwards, among the apples, 
and she seemed to have quite forgotten that 
she had any other audience than her Baby, and 
her Head-Nurse, who once or twice supplied, 
almost inaudibly, the right note, when the singer 
was getting a little ' flat.' 



76 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

"Matilda Jane, you never look 
At any toy or picture-book : 
I show you pretty things in vain 
You must be blind, Matilda Jane ! 

" / ask you riddles, tell you tales, 
But all our conversation fails: 
You never answer me again 
/ fear you're dumb, Matilda Jane ! 

"Matilda, darling, when I call, 
You never seem to hear at all: 
I shout with all my migJit and main 
But you're so deaf, Matilda Jane ! 

"Matilda Jane, you needn't mind: 
For, though you're deaf, and dumb, and blind, 
There s some one loves you, it is plain- 
And that is me, Matilda Jane ! " 

She sang three of the verses in a rather per- 
functory style, but the last stanza evidently 
excited the little maiden. Her voice rose, ever 
clearer and louder : she had a rapt look on her 
face, as if suddenly inspired, and, as she sang 
the last few words, she clasped to her heart 
the inattentive Matilda Jane. 



v] MATILDA JANE. 77 

" Kiss it now !" prompted the Head-Nurse. 
And in a moment the simpering meaningless 
face of the Baby was covered with a shower 
of passionate kisses. 

" What a bonny song ! " cried the Farmer's 
wife. " Who made the words, dearie ? " 

" I I think I'll look for Bruno," Sylvie 
said demurely, and left us hastily. The curious 
child seemed always afraid of being praised, or 
even noticed. 

" Sylvie planned the words," Bessie informed 
us, proud of her superior information: "and 

Bruno planned the music and / sang it ! ' 

(this last circumstance, by the way, we did not 
need to be told). 

So we followed Sylvie, and all entered the 
parlour together. Bruno was still standing at 
the window, with his elbows on the sill. He 
had, apparently, finished the story that he was 
telling to the fly, and had found a new 
occupation. "Don't imperrupt!" he said as 
we came in. "I'm counting the Pigs in the 
held ! " 

" How many are there ? " I enquired. 

" About a thousand and four," said Bruno. 



78 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" You mean ' about a thousand,' ' Sylvie 
corrected him. " There's no good saying { and 
four ' : you cant be sure about the four ! ' 

"And you're as wrong as ever!" Bruno 
exclaimed triumphantly. " It's just the four I 
can be sure about ; 'cause they're here, grub-- 
bling under the window! It's the thousand 
I isn't pruffickly sure about ! " 

" But some of them have gone into the 
sty," Sylvie said, leaning over him to look out 
of the window. 

" Yes," said Bruno ; " but they went so slowly 
and so fewly, I didn't care to count than" 

"We must be going, children," I said. 
"Wish Bessie good-bye." Sylvie flung her 
arms round the little maiden's neck, and kissed 
her : but Bruno stood aloof, looking unusually 
shy. ("I never kiss nobody but Sylvie ! " he 
explained to me afterwards.) The farmer's 
wife showed us out : and we were soon on our 
way back to Elveston. 

" And that's the new public-house that we 
were talking about, I suppose ? " I said, as 
we came in sight of a long low building, with 
the words ' THE GOLDEN LION ' over the door. 



v] MATILDA JANE. 79 

"Yes, that's it," said Sylvie. "1 wonder if 
her Willie's inside ? Run in, Bruno, and see 
if he's there." 

I interposed, feeling that Bruno was, in a 
sort of way, in my care. "That's not a place 
to send a child into." For already the revelers 
were getting noisy : and a wild discord of 
singing, shouting, and meaningless laughter 
came to us through the open windows. 

" They wo'n't see him, you know," Sylvie 
explained. " Wait a minute, Bruno ! " She 
clasped the jewel, that always hung round her 
neck, between the palms of her hands, and 
muttered a few words to herself. What they 
were I could not at all make out, but some 
mysterious change seemed instantly to pass 
over us. My feet seemed to me no longer to 
press the ground, and the dream-like feeling 
came upon me, that I was suddenly endowed 
with the power of floating in the air. I could 
still just see the children : but their forms were 
shadowy and unsubstantial, and their voices 
sounded as if they came from some distant 
place and time, they were so unreal. How- 
ever, I offered no further opposition to Bruno's 



8o SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

going into the house. He was back again in 
a few moments. " No, he isn't come yet," he 
said. " They're talking about him inside, and 
saying how drunk he was last week," 

While he was speaking, one of the men 
lounged out through the door, a pipe in one 
hand and a mug of beer in the other, and 
crossed to where we were standing, so as to 
get a better view along the road. Two or 
three others leaned out through the open 
window, each holding his mug of beer, with 
red faces and sleepy eyes. " Canst see him, 
lad ? " one of them asked. 

" I dunnot know," the man said, taking a 
step forwards, which brought us nearly face 
to face. Sylvie hastily pulled me out of his 
way. " Thanks, child," I said. " I had for- 
gotten he couldn't see us. What would have 
happened if I had staid in his way ? " 

" I don't know," Sylvie said gravely. "It 
wouldn't matter to tts ; but you may be diffe- 
rent." She said this in her usual voice, but 
the man took no sort of notice, though she 
was standing close in front of him, and looking 
up into his face as she spoke. 



v] MATILDA JANE. Hi 

" He's coming now ! " cried Bruno, pointing 
down the road. 

" He be a-coomin noo!" echoed the man, 
stretching out his arm exactly over Bruno's 
head, and pointing with his pipe. 

" Then chorus agin ! " was shouted out by 
one of the red-faced men in the window : and 
forthwith a dozen voices yelled, to a harsh 
discordant melody, the refrain : 

" There's him, an' yo, an me, 

Roariii laddies ! 
We loves a bit d spree, 
Roariri laddies we, 

Roarirt laddies 
Roarin' laddies ! " 

The man lounged back again to the house, 
joining lustily in the chorus as he went : so 
that only the children and I .were in the road 
when ' Willie ' came up. 



CHAPTER VI. 
WILLIE'S WIFE. 

HE made for the door of the public-house, 
but the children intercepted him. Sylvie clang 
to one arm ; while Bruno, on the opposite 
side, was pushing him with all his strength, 
with many inarticulate cries of " Gee-up ! Gee- 
back ! Woah then ! " which he had picked up 
from the waggoners. 

' Willie ' took not the least notice of them : 
he was simply conscious that something had 
checked him : and, for want of any other way 
of accounting for it, he seemed to regard it 
as his own act. 



VI] 



WILLIE'S WIFE. 




' I wunnut coom in," he said : " not to-day." 
" A mug o' beer wunnut hurt 'ee ! " his 
friends shouted in chorus. " Two mugs wunnut 
hurt 'ee ! Nor a dozen mugs ! " 

G 2 



84 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Nay," said Willie. " I'm agoan whoam." 

" What, withouten thy drink, Willie man ? " 
shouted the others. But ' Willie man ' would 
have no more discussion, and turned doggedly 
away, the children keeping one on each side of 
him, to guard him against any change in his 
sudden resolution. 

For a while he walked on stoutly enough, 
keeping his hands in his pockets, and softly 
whistling a tune, in time to his heavy tread : 
his success, in appearing entirely at his ease, 
was almost complete ; but a careful observer 
would have noted that he had forgotten the 
second part of the air, and that, when it broke 
down, he instantly began it. again, being too 
nervous to think of another, and too restless 
to endure silence. 

It was not the old fear that possessed him 
now the old fear, that had been his dreary 
companion every Saturday night he could re- 
member, as he had reeled along, steadying 
himself against gates and garden-palings, and 
when the shrill reproaches of his wife had 
seemed to his dazed brain only the echo of a 
yet more piercing voice within, the intolerable 



vi] WILLIE'S WIFE. 85 

wail of a hopeless remorse : it was a wholly 
new fear that had come to him now : life had 
taken on itself a new set of colours, and was 
lighted up with a new and dazzling radiance, 
and he did not see, as yet, how his home-life, 
and his wife and child, would fit into the new 
order of things : the very novelty of it all was, 
to his simple mind, a perplexity and an over- 
whelming terror. 

And now the tune died into sudden silence 
on the trembling lips, as he turned a sharp 
corner, and came in sight of his own cottage, 
where his wife stood, leaning with folded arms 
on the wicket-gate, and looking up the road 
with a pale face, that had in it no glimmer of 
the light of hope only the heavy shadow of 
a deep stony despair. 

" Fine an' early, lad ! Fine an' early ! " The 
words might have been words of welcoming, 
but oh, the bitterness of the tone in which she 
said it ! "What brings thee from thy merry 
mates, and all the fiddling and the jigging ? 
Pockets empty, I doubt ? Or thou'st come, 
mebbe, for to see thy little one die ? The 
bairnie's clemmed, and I've nor bite nor sup 



86 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

to gie her. But what does tkou care ? " She 
flung the gate open, and met him with blazing 
eyes of fury. 

The man said no word. Slowly, and with 
downcast eyes, he passed into the house, while 
she, half terrified at his strange silence, followed 
him in without another word ; and it was not 
till he had sunk into a chair, with his arms 
crossed on the table and with drooping head, 
that she found her voice again. 

It seemed entirely natural for us to go in 
with them : at another time one would have 
asked leave for this, but I felt, I knew not 
why, that we were in some mysterious way 
invisible, and as free to come and to go as 
disembodied spirits. 

The child in the cradle woke up, and raised 
a piteous cry, which in a moment brought the 
children to its side : ' Bruno rocked the cradle, 
while Sylvie tenderly replaced the little head on 
the pillow from which it had slipped. But the 
mother took no heed of the cry, nor yet of the 
satisfied ' coo ' that it set up when Sylvie had 
made it happy again : she only stood gazing at 
her husband, and vainly trying, with white 



vi] WILLIE'S WIFE. 87 

quivering lips (I believe she thought he was 
mad), to speak in the old tones of shrill up- 
braiding that he knew so well. 

"And thou'st spent all thy wages I'll 

swear thou hast on the devil's own drink 

and thou'st been and made thysen a beast 
again as thou allus dost 

" Hasna ! " the man muttered, his voice hardly 
rising above a whisper, as he slowly emptied 
his pockets on the table. " There's th' wage, 
Missus, every penny on't." 

The woman gasped, and put. one hand to her 
heart, as if under some great shock of surprise. 
" Then how 's thee gotten th' drink ? " 

" Hasna gotten it," he answered her, in a 
tone more sad than sullen. " I hanna touched 
a drop this blessed day. No ! " he cried aloud, 
bringing, his clenched fist heavily down upon 
the table, and looking up at her with gleaming 
eyes, "nor I'll never touch another drop o' the 

cursed drink till 1 die so help me God 

my Maker!" His voice, which had suddenly 
risen to a hoarse shout, dropped again as 
suddenly : and once more he bowed his head, 
and buried his face in his folded arms. 



88 



SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




vi] WILLIE'S WIFE. 89 

The woman had dropped upon her knees by 
the cradle, while he was speaking. She neither 
looked at him nor seemed to hear him. With 
hands clasped above her head, she rocked her- 
self wildly to and fro. " Oh my God ! Oh my 
God ! " was all she said, over and over again. 

Sylvie and Bruno gently unclasped her hands 

and drew them down till she had an arm 

round each of them, though she took no notice 
of them, but knelt on with eyes gazing upwards, 
and lips that moved as if in silent thanksgiving. 
The man kept his face hidden, and uttered no 
sound : but one could see the sobs that shook 
him from head to foot. 

After a while he raised his head his face 
all wet with tears. " Polly ! " he said softly ; 
and then, louder, " Old Poll ! " 

Then she rose from her knees and came to 
him, with a dazed look, as if she were walk- 
ing in her sleep. " Who was it called me 
old Poll ? " she asked : her voice took on it a 
tender playfulness : her eyes sparkled ; and 
the rosy light of Youth flushed her pale cheeks, 
till she looked more like a happy girl of seven- 
teen than a worn woman of forty. " Was 



90 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

that my own lad, my Willie, a- waiting for me 
at the stile ? " 

His face too was transformed, in the same 
magic light, to the likeness of a bashful boy : 
and boy and girl they seemed, as he wound 
an arm about her, and drew her to his side, 
while with the other hand he thrust from him 
the heap of money, as though it were something 
hateful to the touch. " Tak it, lass," he said, 
"tak it all! An' fetch us summat to eat : but 
get a sup o' milk, first, for t' bairn/' 

" My little bairn ! " she murmured as she 
gathered up the coins. " My own little lassie !" 
Then she moved to the door, and was passing 
out, but a sudden thought seemed to arrest 

her : she hastily returned first to kneel down 

and kiss the sleeping child, and then to throw 
herself into her husband's arms and be strained 
to his heart. The next moment she was on 
her way, taking with her a jug that hung on 
a peg near the door : we followed close behind. 
We had not gone far before we came in sight 
of a swinging sign-board bearing the word 
' DAIRY ' on it, and here she went in, welcomed 
by a little curly white dog, who, not being 



vi] WILLIE'S WIFE. 91 

under the ' eerie ' influence, saw the children, 
and received them with the most effusive affec- 
tion. When I got inside, the dairyman was in 
the act of taking the money. " Is't for thysen, 
Missus, or for t' bairn ? " he asked, when he had 
filled the jug, pausing with it in his hand. 

"For t' bairn!" she said, almost reproach- 
fully. " Think'st tha I'd touch a drop my sen, 
while as she hadna got her fill ? " 

"All right, Missus," the man replied, turning 
away with the jug in his hand. " Let's just 
rnak sure it's good measure." He went back 
among his shelves of milk-bowls, carefully keep- 
ing his back towards her while he emptied a 
little measure of cream into the jug, muttering 
to himself "mebbe it'll hearten her up a bit, 
the little lassie ! " 

The woman never noticed the kind deed, 
but took back the jug with a simple " Good 
evening, Master," and went her way : but the 
children had been more observant, and, as 
we followed her out, Bruno remarked " That 
were welly kind : and I loves that man : and 
if I was welly rich I'd give him a hundred 
pounds and a bun. That little grurnmeling 



92 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

dog doosn't know its business ! '' He referred 
to the dairyman's little dog, who had apparently 
quite forgotten the affectionate welcome he had 
given us on our arrival, and was now follow- 
ing at a respectful distance, doing his best to 
' speed the parting guest ' with a shower of 
little shrill barks, that seemed to tread on one 
another's heels. 

" What is a. dog's business ? " laughed Sylvie. 
" Dogs ca'n't keep shops and give change ! " 

" Sisters' businesses isrit to laugh at their 
brothers," Bruno replied with perfect gravity. 

"And dogs' businesses is to bark not like 

that : it should finish one bark before it begins 

another : and it should Oh Sylvie, there's 

some dindledums ! " 

And in another moment the happy children 
were flying across the common, racing for the 
patch of dandelions. 

While I stood watching them, a strange 
dreamy feeling came upon me : a railway-plat- 
form seemed to take the place of the green 
sward, and, instead of the light figure of Sylvie 
bounding along, I seemed to see the flying 
form of Lady Muriel ; but whether Bruno 



vi] WILLIE'S WIFE. 93 

had also undergone a transformation, and had 
become the old man whom she was running to 
overtake, I was unable to judge, so instan- 
taneously did the feeling come and go. 

When I re-entered the little sitting-room 
which I shared with Arthur, he was standing 
with his back to me, looking out of the open 
window, and evidently had not heard me enter. 
A cup of tea, apparently just tasted and pushed 
aside, stood on the table, on the opposite side of 
which was a letter, just begun, with the pen 
lying across it : an open book lay on the sofa : 
the London paper occupied the easy chair ; and 
on the little table, which stood by it, I noticed 
an unlighted cigar and an open box of cigar- 
lights : all things betokened that the Doctor, 
usually so methodical and so self-contained, had 
been trying every form of occupation, and could 
settle to none ! 

"This is very unlike you, Doctor!" I was 
beginning, but checked myself, as he turned at 
the sound of my voice, in sheer amazement at 
the wonderful change that had taken place in 
his appearance. Never had I seen a face so 
radiant with happiness, or eyes that sparkled 



94 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

with such unearthly light! "Even thus," I 
thought, " must the herald-angel have looked, 
who brought to the shepherds, watching over 
their flocks by night, that sweet message of 
' peace on earth, good-will to men' /" 

" Yes, dear friend ! " he said, as if in answer 
to the question that I suppose he read in my 
face. " It is true ! It is true ! " 

No need to ask what was true. " God bless 
you both ! " I said, as I felt the happy tears 
brimming to my eyes. "You were made for 
each other ! " 

" Yes," he said, simply, " I believe we were. 
And what a change it makes in one's Life ! 
This isn't the same world ! That isn't the sky 

I saw yesterday ! Those clouds 1 never 

saw such clouds in all my life before ! They 
look like troops of hovering angels ! " 

To me they looked very ordinary clouds 
indeed : but then / had not fed ' on honey- 
dew, And drunk the milk of Paradise ' ! 

" She wants to see you at once," he 

continued, descending suddenly to the things 
of earth. "She says that is the one drop yet 
wanting in her cup of happiness ! " 



vi] WILLIE'S WIFE. 95 

" I'll go at once," I said, as I turned to leave 
the room. " Wo'n't you come with me ? " 

" No, Sir ! " said the Doctor, with a sudden 

effort which proved an utter failure to 

resume his professional manner. " Do I look 
like coming with you ? Have you never heard 

that two is company, and " 

'Yes," I said, " I have heard it: and I'm 
painfully aware that / am Number Three ! But, 
when shall we three meet again ? " 

" When the hurly-burly s done / " he answered 
with a happy laugh, such as I had not heard 
from him for many a year. 



CHAPTER VII. 

MEIN HERR. 

So I went on my lonely way, and, on reach- 
ing the Hall, I found Lady Muriel standing at 
the garden-gate waiting for me. 

" No need to give you joy, or to wish you 
joy ? " I began. 

"None whatever!" she replied, with the 
joyous laugh of a child. " We give people what 
they haven't got : we wish for something that 
is yet to come. For me, it's all here! It's all 
mine I Dear friend," she suddenly broke off, 
"do you think Heaven ever begins on Earth, 
for any of us ? " 



vii] MEIN HERR. 97 

" For some ," I said. " For some, perhaps, who 
are simple and childlike. You know He said 
' of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.' ' 

Lady Muriel clasped her hands, and gazed up 
into the cloudless sky, with a look I had often 
seen in Sylvie's eyes. " I feel as if it had begun 
for me" she almost whispered. " I feel as if / 
were one of the happy children, whom He bid 
them bring near to Him, though the people 
would have kept them back. Yes, He has seen 
me in the throng. He has read the wistful 
longing in my eyes. He has beckoned me to 
Him. They have had to make way for me. 
He has taken me up in His arms. He has put 
His hands upon me and blessed me!" She 
paused, breathless in her perfect happiness. 

" Yes," I said. " I think He has ! " 

" You must come and speak to my father," 
she went on, as we stood side by side at the 
gate, looking down the shady lane. But, even 
as she said the words, the ' eerie ' sensation 
came over me like a flood : I saw the dear 
old Professor approaching us, and also saw, 
what was stranger still, that he was visible to 
Lady Muriel ! 

H 



98 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

What was to be done ? Had the fairy-life 
been merged in the real life ? Or was Lady 
Muriel ' eerie ' also, and thus able to enter into 
the fairy-world along with me ? The words 
were on my lips (" I see an old friend of mine 
in the lane : if you don't know him, may I 
introduce him to you ? ") when the strangest 
thing of all happened : Lady Muriel spoke. 

" I see an old friend of mine in the lane," 
she said : " if you don't know him, may I 
introduce him to you ? " 

I seemed to wake out of a dream : for the 
' eerie ' feeling was still strong upon me, and 
the figure outside seemed to be changing at 
every moment, like one of the shapes in a 
kaleidoscope : now he was the Professor, and 
now he was somebody else ! By the time he 
had reached the gate, he certainly was some- 
body else : and I felt that the proper course 
was for Lady Muriel, not for me, to introduce 
him. She greeted him kindly, and, opening 
the gate, admitted the venerable old man 

a German, obviously who looked about him 

with dazed eyes, as if he, too, had but just 
awaked from a dream ! 



vn] MEIN HERR. 99 

No, it was certainly not the Professor ! My 
old friend coiild not have grown that mag- 
nificent beard since last we met : moreover, he 
would have recognised me, for I was certain 
that / had not changed much in the time. 

As it was, he simply looked at me vaguely, 
and took off his hat in response to Lady 
Muriel's words " Let me introduce Mein Herr 
to you " ; while in the words, spoken in a 
strong German accent, "proud to make your 
acquaintance, Sir ! " I could detect no trace 
of an idea that we had ever met before. 

Lady Muriel led us to the well-known shady 
nook, where preparations for afternoon- tea had 
already been made, and, while she went in to 
look for the Earl, we seated ourselves in two 
easy-chairs, and 'Mein Herr' took up Lady 
Muriel's work, and examined it through his 
large spectacles (one of the adjuncts that 
made him so provokingly like the Professor). 
"Hemming pocket-handkerchiefs?" he said, 
musingly. " So that is what the. English 
miladies occupy themselves with, is it ? " 

" It is the one accomplishment," I said, "in 
which Man has never yet rivaled Woman ! " 

H 2 



ioo SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Here Lady Muriel returned with her father ; 
and, after he had exchanged some friendly 
words with ' Mein Herr/ and we had all been 
supplied with the needful ' creature-comforts,' 
the newcomer returned to the suggestive sub- 
ject of Pocket-handkerchiefs. 

" You have heard of Fortunatus's Purse, 
Miladi ? Ah, so ! Would you be surprised 
to hear that, with three of these leetle hand- 
kerchiefs, you shall make the Purse of Fortu- 
natus, quite soon, quite easily ? " 

"Shall I indeed?" Lady Muriel eagerly 
replied, as she took a heap of them into her 
lap, and threaded her needle. " Please tell 
me how, Mein Herr! I'll make one before 
I touch another drop of tea ! f> 

" You shall first," said Mein Herr, possessing 
himself of two of the handkerchiefs, spreading 
one upon the other, and holding them up by 
two corners, " you shall first join together 
these upper corners, the right to the right, 
the left to the left ; and the opening between 
them shall be the mouth of the Purse." 

A very few stitches sufficed to carry out this 
direction. "Now, if I sew the other three 



vil] MEIN HERR. 101 

edges together," she suggested, " the bag is 
complete ? " 

" Not so, Miladi : the lower edges shall first 

be joined ah, not so ! " (as she was beginning 

to sew them together). " Turn one of them 
over, and join the right lower corner of the 
one to the left lower corner of the other, and 
sew the lower edges together in what you 
would call the wrong way." 

" / see ! " said Lady Muriel, as she deftly 
executed the order. " And a very twisted, 
uncomfortable, uncanny-looking bag it makes ! 
But the moral is a lovely one. Unlimited 
wealth can only be attained by doing things 
in the wrong way ! And how are we to join 
up these mysterious no, I mean this mys- 
terious opening ? " (twisting the thing round 
and round with a puzzled air.) "Yes, it is one 
opening. I thought it was two, at first." 

" You have seen the puzzle of the Paper 
Ring ? " Mein Herr said, addressing the Earl. 
" Where you take a slip of paper, and join 
its ends together, first twisting one, so as to 
join the upper corner of one end to the lower 
corner of the other ? " 



102 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" I saw one made, only yesterday," the 
Earl replied. " Muriel, my child, were you 
not making one, to amuse those children you 
had to tea ? " 

" Yes, I know that Puzzle," said Lady 
Muriel. " The Ring has only one surface, and 
only one edge. It's very mysterious ! " 

" The bag is just like that, isn't it ? " I sug- 
gested. "Is not the outer surface of one side 
of it continuous with the inner surface of the 
other side ? " 

"So it is!" she exclaimed. " Only it isrit 
a bag, just yet. How shall we fill up this 
opening, Mein Herr?" 

" Thus ! " said the old man impressively, 
taking the bag from her, and rising to his feet 
in the excitement of the explanation. " The 
edge of the opening consists of four hand- 
kerchief-edges, and you can trace it continu- 
ously, round and round the opening : down the 
right edge of one handkerchief, up the left edge 
of the other, and then down the left edge of 
the one, and up the right edge of the other!" 

" So you can ! " Lady Muriel murmured 
thoughtfully, leaning her head on her hand, 



VI l] 



MEIN HERR. 



103 



and earnestly watching the old man. " And 
that proves it to be only one opening ! " 




She looked so strangely like a child, puzzling 
over a difficult lesson, and Mein Herr had 
become, for the moment, so strangely like the 
old Professor, that I felt utterly bewildered : 
the ' eerie ' feeling was on me in its full force, 
and I felt almost impelled to say " Do you 
understand it, Sylvie ? ' However I checked 
myself by a great effort, and let the dream 
(if indeed it was a dream) go on to its end. 



104 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Now, this third handkerchief," Mem Herr 
proceeded, " has also four edges, which you 
can trace continuously round and round : all 
you need do is to join its four edges to the 
four edges of the opening. The Purse is then 
complete, and its outer surface 

"/ see!" Lady Muriel eagerly interrupted. 
" Its outer surface will be continuous with its 
inner surface ! But it will take time. I'll sew 
it up after tea." She laid aside the bag, and 
resumed her cup of tea. " But why do you 
call it Fortunatus's Purse, Mein Herr?" 

The dear old man beamed upon her, with a 
jolly smile, looking more exactly like the Pro- 
fessor than ever. " Don't you see, my child 

I should say M iladi ? Whatever is inside 
that Purse, is outside it ; and whatever is O2tt- 
side it, is inside it. So you have all the 
wealth of the world in that leetle Purse ! " 

His pupil clapped her hands, in unrestrained 
delight. " I'll certainly sew the third hand- 
kerchief in some time," she said: "but I 

wo'n't take up your time by trying it now. 
Tell us some more wonderful things, please ! " 
And her face and her voice so exactly recalled 



vn] MEIN HERR. 105 

Sylvie, that I could not help glancing round, 
half-expecting to see Bruno also ! 

Mein Herr began thoughtfully balancing his 
spoon on the edge of his teacup, while he 
pondered over this request. " Something 

wonderful like Fortunatus's Purse ? That 

will give you when it is made wealth 

beyond your wildest dreams : but it will not 
give you Time ! " 

A pause of silence ensued utilised by 

Lady Muriel for the very practical purpose 
of refilling the teacups. 

" In your country," Mein Herr began with a 
startling abruptness, "what becomes of all the 
wasted Time ? " 

Lady Muriel looked grave. " Who can 
tell ?" she half-whispered to herself. "All one 
knows is that it is gone past recall ! " 

"Well, in my 1 mean in a country /have 

visited," said the old man, " they store it up : 
and it comes in very useful, years afterwards j 
For example, suppose you have a long tedious 
evening before you : nobody to talk to : nothing 
you care to do : and yet hours too soon to go 
to bed. How do you behave then ?" 



io6 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" I get very cross," she frankly admitted : 
"and I want to throw things about the room ! " 

" When that happens to to the people I 

have visited, they never act so. By a short and 
simple process which I cannot explain to you 

they store up the useless hours : and, on 
some other occasion, when they happen to need 
extra time, they get them out again." 

The Earl was listening with a slightly in- 
credulous smile. " Why cannot you explain the 
process ? " he enquired. 

Mein Herr was ready with a quite unanswer- 
able reason. " Because you have no ivords, in 
your language, to convey the ideas which are 

needed. I could explain it in in but you 

would not understand it ! " 

"No indeed!" said Lady Muriel, graciously 
dispensing with the name of the unknown 

language. " I never learnt it at least, not 

to speak it fluently, you know. Please tell us 
some more wonderful things ! ' 

" They run their railway-trains without any 

engines nothing is needed but machinery to 

stop them with. Is that wonderful enough, 
Miladi?" 



vn] MEIN HERR. 107 

"But where does the force come from ? " I 
ventured to ask. 

Mein Herr turned quickly round, to look at 
the new speaker. Then he took off his spec- 
tacles, and polished them, and looked at me 
again, in evident bewilderment. I could see 

he was thinking as indeed / was also that 

we must have met before. 

" They use the force of gravity" he said. 
"It is a force known also in your country, I 
believe ? " 

" But that would need a railway going down- 
Jiill" the Earl remarked. " You ca'n't have all 
your railways going down-hill ? " 

" They all do," said Mein Herr. 

"Not from both ends?" 

" From both ends." 

" Then I give it up ! " said the Earl. 

" Can you explain the process?" said Lady 
Muriel. "Without using that language, that I 
ca'n't speak fluently ? " 

" Easily," said Mein Herr. " Each railway 
is in a long tunnel, perfectly straight : so of 
course the middle of it is nearer the centre of 
the globe than the two ends : so every train 



io8 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

runs half-way down-\\\\\, and that gives it force 
enough to run the other half up-\i\\\" 

" Thank you. I understand that perfectly," 
said Lady Muriel. " But the velocity, in the 
middle of the tunnel, must be something 
fearful /" 

' Mein Herr' was evidently much gratified 
at the intelligent interest Lady Muriel took in 
his remarks. At every moment the old man 
seemed to grow more chatty and more fluent. 
" You would like to know our methods of 
driving?" he smilingly enquired. "To us, a 
run-away horse is of no import at all ! " 

Lady Muriel slightly shuddered. " To us 
it is a very real danger," she said. 

" That is because your carriage is wholly 
behind your horse. Your horse runs. Your 
carriage follows. Perhaps your horse has the 
bit in his teeth. Who shall stop him ? You 
fly, ever faster and faster ! Finally comes the 
inevitable upset ! " 

" But suppose your horse manages to get the 
bit in his teeth ? " 

" No matter ! We would not concern our- 
selves. Our horse is harnessed in the very 



Vll] MEIN HERR. 109 

centre of our carriage. Two wheels are in 
front of him, and two behind. To the roof is 
attached one end of a broad belt. This goes 
under the horse's body, and the other end is 
attached to a leetle what you call a ' wind- 
lass,' I think. The horse takes the bit in his 
teeth, He runs away. We are flying at ten 
miles an hour ! We turn our little windlass, 

five turns, six turns, seven turns, and poof! 

Our horse is off the ground ! Now let him 
gallop in the air, as much as he pleases : our 
carriage stands still. We sit round him, and 
watch him till he is tired. Then we let him 
down. Our horse is glad, very much glad, 
when his feet once more touch the ground ! " 

" Capital ! " said the Earl, who had been 
listening attentively. "Are there any other 
peculiarities in your carriages ? " 

" In the wheels, sometimes, my Lord. For 
your health, you go to sea : to be pitched, to 
be rolled, occasionally to be drowned. We do 
all that on land : we are pitched, as you ; we 
are rolled, as you ; but drowned, no ! There 
is no water ! " 

" What are the wheels like, then ? " 



no SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" They are oval, my Lord. Therefore the 
carriages rise and fall." 

" Yes, and pitch the carriage backwards and 
forwards : but how do they make it roll ? " 

" They do not match, my Lord. The end of 
one wheel answers to the side of the opposite 
wheel. So first one side of the carriage rises, 
then the other. And it pitches all the while. 
Ah, you must be a good sailor, to drive in our 
boat-carriages ! " 

" I can easily believe it," said the Earl. 

Mein Herr rose to his feet. " I must leave 
you now, Miladi," he said, consulting his watch. 
" I have another engagement." 

" I only wish we had stored up some extra 
time ! " Lady Muriel said, as she shook hands 
with him. " Then we could have kept you a 
little longer ! " 

"In that case I would gladly stay," replied 

Mein Herr. "As it is 1 fear I must say 

good-bye ! " 

" Where did you first meet him ? " I asked 
Lady Muriel, when Mein Herr had left us. 
" And where does he live ? And what is his 
real name ? " 



vn] MEIN HERR. ill 

" We first met him ' she musingly 

replied, "really, I ca'n't remember where! 
And I've no idea where he lives ! And I 
never heard any other name! It's very 
curious. It never occurred to me before to 
consider what a mystery he is ! " 

" I hope we shall meet again," I said : "he 
interests me very much." 

" He will be at our farewell-party, this day 
fortnight," said the Earl. " Of course you will 
come ? Muriel is anxious to gather all our 
friends around us once more, before we leave 
the place." 

And then he explained to me as Lady 

Muriel had left us together that he was so 

anxious to get his daughter away from a place 
full of so many painful memories connected 
with the now-canceled engagement with Major 
Lindon, that they had arranged to have the 
wedding in a month's time, after which Arthur 
and his wife were to go on a foreign tour. 

" Don't forget Tuesday week ! " he said as 
we shook hands at parting. " I only wish you 
could bring with you those charming children, 
that you introduced to us in the summer. 



112 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Talk of the mystery of Mein Herr ! That's 
nothing to the mystery that seems to attend 
them ! I shall never forget those marvellous 
flowers ! " 

" I will bring them if I possibly can," I said. 
But how to fulfil such a promise, I mused to 
myself on my way back to our lodgings, was 
a problem entirely beyond my skill ! 



CHAPTER VIII. 

IN A SHADY PLACE. 

THE ten days glided swiftly away : and, the 
day before the great party was to take place, 
Arthur proposed that we should stroll down 
to the Hall, in time for afternoon-tea. 

" Hadn't you better go alone ?" I suggested. 
" Surely / shall be very much de trop ? " 

" Well, it'll be a kind of experiment" he 
said. "Fiat experimentum in corpore vili!" 
he added, with a graceful bow of mock polite- 
ness towards the unfortunate victim. " You 
see I shall have to bear the sight, to-morrow 
night, of my lady-love making herself agreable 

I 



IH SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

to everybody except the right person, and I 
shall bear the agony all the better if we have 
a dress-rehearsal beforehand ! " 

" My part in the play being, apparently, that 
of the sample wrong person ? " 

" Well, no>" Arthur said musingly, as we set 
forth : " there's no such part in a regular 
company. ' Heavy Father '? That won't do : 
that's filled already. ' Singing Chambermaid ' ? 
Well, the ' First Lady ' doubles that part. 
' Comic Old Man ' ? You're not comic enough. 
After all, I'm afraid there's no part for you 
but the ' Well-dressed Villain : only," with a 
critical side-glance, "I'm a leetle uncertain 
about the dress ! " 

We found Lady Muriel alone, the Earl 
having gone out to make a call, and at once 
resumed old terms of intimacy, in the shady 
arbour where the tea-things seemed to be 
always waiting. The only novelty in the 
arrangements (one which Lady Muriel seemed 
to regard as entirely a matter of course), was 
that two of the chairs were placed quite close 
together, side by side. Strange to say, / was 
not invited to occupy either of them ! 



vill] IN A SHADY PLACE. 115 

"We have been arranging, as we came 
along, about letter-writing," Arthur began. 
" He will want to know how we're enjoying 
our Swiss tour : and of course we must pretend 
we are ? " 

" Of course," she meekly assented. 

" And the skeleton-in-the-cupboard " I 

suggested. 

" is always a difficulty," she quickly put 

in, " when you're traveling about, and when 
there are no cupboards in the hotels. How- 
ever, ours is a very portable one ; and will be 
neatly packed, in a nice leather case 

"But please don't think about writing" I 
said, " when you've anything more attractive 
on hand. I delight in reading letters, but I 
know well how tiring it is to write them.' 

"It is, sometimes," Arthur assented. " For 
instance, when you're very shy of the person 
you have to write to.' 

" Does that show itself in the letter ? " Lady 
Muriel enquired. " Of course, when I hear 
any one talking -yoii, for instance I can 
see how desperately shy he is ! But can you 
see that in a letter ? " 

I 2 



ii6 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Well, of course, when you hear any one 

talk fluently -you, for instance you can see 

how desperately zm-shy she is not to say 

saucy ! But the shyest and most intermittent 
talker must seem fluent in letter-writing. He 
may have taken half-an-hour to compose his 
second sentence ; but there it is, close after 
the first ! " 

" Then letters don't express all that they 
might express ?" 

" That's merely because our system of letter- 
writing is incomplete. A shy writer ought to 
be able to show that he is so. Why shouldn't 
he make pauses in writing, just as he would 
do in speaking ? He might leave blank spaces 
say half a page at a time. And a very shy 

girl if there is such a thing might write 

a sentence on \hefirst sheet of her letter- 
then put in a couple of blank sheets then 

a sentence on the fourth sheet : and so on " 

" I quite foresee that we 1 mean this clever 

little boy and myself " Lady Muriel said to 
me, evidently with the kind wish to bring me 

into the conversation, " are going to become 

famous of course all our inventions are 



vni] IN A SHADY PLACE. 117 

common property now for a new Code of 

Rules for Letter-writing ! Please invent some 
more, little boy ! " 

" Well, another thing greatly needed, little 
girl, is some way of expressing that we dorit 
mean anything." 

" Explain yourself, little boy ! Surely you 
can find no difficulty in expressing a total 
absence of meaning ? " 

" I mean that you should be able, when you 
dorit mean a thing to be taken seriously, to 
express that wish. For human nature is so 
constituted that whatever you write seriously 
is taken as a joke, and whatever you mean 
as a joke is taken seriously ! At any rate, it 
is so in writing to a lady ! " 

"Ah! you're not used to writing to ladies!" 
Lady Muriel remarked, leaning back in her 
chair, and gazing thoughtfully into the sky. 
"You should try." 

"Very good," said Arthur. " How many 
ladies may I begin writing to ? As many as I 
can count on the fingers of both hands ? " 

"As many as you can count on the thumbs 
of one hand ! " his lady-love replied with much 



ii8 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

severity. " What a very naughty little boy he 
is ! Isn't he ? " (with an appealing glance at 
me). 

" He's a little fractious," I said. " Perhaps 
he's cutting a tooth." While to myself I said 
" How exactly like Sylvie talking to Bruno ! " 

" He wants his tea." (The naughty little boy 
volunteered the information.) " He's getting 
very tired, at the mere prospect of the great 
party to-morrow ! " 

" Then he shall have a good rest before- 
hand ! " she soothingly replied. " The tea isn't 
made yet. Come, little boy, lean well back in 

your chair, and think about nothing or about 

me, whichever you prefer ! " 

" All the same, all the same ! " Arthur sleepi- 
ly murmured, watching her with loving eyes, 
as she moved her chair away to the tea-table, 
and began to make the tea. " Then he'll wait 
for his tea. like a good, patient little boy ! " 

"Shall I bring you the London Papers?" 
said Lady Muriel. " I saw them lying on the 
table as I came out, but my father said there 
was nothing in them, except that horrid murder- 
trial." (Society was just then enjoying its daily 



VIIl] 



IN A SHADY PLACE. 



119 



thrill of excitement in studying the details of a 
specially sensational murder in a thieves' den in 
the East of London.) 

" I have no appetite for horrors," Arthur 
replied. " But I hope we have learned the 

lesson they should teach us though we are 

very apt to read it backwards ! " 




" You speak in riddles," said Lady Muriel. 
" Please explain yourself. See now," suiting 
the action to the word, " I am sitting at your 
feet, just as if you were a second Gamaliel ! 



120 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Thanks, no." (This was to me, who had risen 
to bring her chair back to its former place.) 
" Pray don't disturb yourself. This tree and 
the grass make a very nice easy-chair. What is 
the lesson that one always reads wrong ? " 

Arthur was silent for a minute. " I would 
like to be clear what it is I mean," he said, 
slowly and thoughtfully, " before I say anything 
\& you because you think about it." 

Anything approaching to a compliment was 
so unusual an utterance for Arthur, that it 
brought a flush of pleasure to her cheek, as she 
replied " It is you, that give me the ideas to 
think about." 

" One's first thought," Arthur proceeded, <: in 
reading of anything specially vile or barbarous, 
as done by a fellow-creature, is apt to be that 
we see a new depth of Sin revealed beneath us : 
and we seem to gaze down into that abyss from 
some higher ground, far apart from it." 

" I think I understand you now. You mean 

that one. ought to think not ' God, I thank 

Thee that I am not as other men are '- but 
' God, be merciful to me also, who might be, 
but for Thy grace, a sinner as vile as he ! ' 



vin] IN A SHADY PLACE. 121 

" No," said Arthur. " I meant a great deal 
more than that." 

She looked up quickly, but checked herself, 
and waited in silence. 

" One must begin further back, I think. 
Think of some other man, the same age as this 
poor wretch. Look back to the time when 

they both began life before they had sense 

enough to know Right from Wrong. Then, at 
any rate, they were equal in God's sight ? " 

She nodded assent. 

" We have, then, two distinct epochs at which 
we may contemplate the two men whose lives 
we are comparing. At the first epoch they are, 
so far as moral responsibility is concerned, on 
precisely the same footing : they are alike 
incapable of doing right or wrong. At the 

second epoch the one man 1 am taking an 

extreme case, for contrast has won the esteem 

and love of all around him : his character is 
stainless, and his name will be held in honour 
hereafter : the other man's history is one 
unvaried record of crime, and his life is at last 
forfeited to the outraged laws of his country. 
Now what have been the causes, in each case, 



122 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

of each man's condition being what it is at the 

second epoch ? They are of two kinds one 

acting from within, the other from without. 
These two kinds need to be discussed separ- 
ately that is, if I have not already tired you 

with my prosing ? " 

" On the contrary," said Lady Muriel, " it is 
a special delight to me to have a question 

discussed in this way analysed and arranged, 

so that one can understand it. Some books, 
that profess to argue out a question, are to me 
intolerably wearisome, simply because the ideas 

are all arranged hap-hazard a sort of ' first 

come, first served.' ' 

" You are very encouraging," Arthur replied, 
with a pleased look. " The causes, acting from 
within, which make a man's character what it is 
at any given moment, are his successive acts of 

volition that is, his acts of choosing whether 

he will do this or that." 

" We are to assume the existence of Free- 
Will ? " I said, in order to have that point made 
quite clear. 

"If not," was the quiet reply, " cadit 
quaestio : and I have no more to say." 



vin] IN A SHADY PLACE. 123 

"We will assume it!" the rest of the 

audience the majority, I may say, looking at 

it from Arthur's point of view imperiously 

proclaimed. The orator proceeded. 

" The causes, acting from without, are his 

surroundings what Mr. Herbert Spencer 

calls his ' environment.' Now the point I want 
to make clear is this, that a man is responsible 
for his acts of choosing, but not responsible 
for his environment. Hence, if these two men 
make, on some given occasion, when they are 
exposed to equal temptation, equal efforts to 
resist and to choose the right, their condition, 
in the sight of God, must be the same. If He 
is pleased in the one case, so will He be in the 
other ; if displeased in the one case, so also in 
the other." 

" That is so, no doubt : I see it quite clearly," 
Lady Muriel put in. 

" And yet, owing to their different environ- 
ments, the one may win a great victory over the 
temptation, while the other falls into some black 
abyss of crime." 

" But surely you would not say those men 
were equally guilty in the sight of God ?" 



124 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Either that,' 1 said Arthur, " or else I must 
give up my belief in God's perfect justice. 
But let me put one more case, which will show 
my meaning even more forcibly. Let the one 

man be in a high social position the other, 

say, a common thief. Let the one be tempted 
to some trivial act of unfair dealing some- 
thing which he can do with the absolute 

<_> 

certainty that it will never be discovered 

something which he can with perfect ease 

forbear from doing and which he distinctly 

knows to be a sin. Let the other be tempted 

to some terrible crime as men would consider 

it but under an almost overwhelming pressure 

of motives of course not quite overwhelming, 

as that would destroy all responsibility. Now, 
in this case, let the second man make a greater 
effort at resistance than the first. Also suppose 

both to fall under the temptation 1 say that 

the second man is, in God's sight, less guilty 
than the other." 

Lady Muriel drew a long breath. "It upsets 

all one's ideas of Right and Wrong just at 

first ! Why, in that dreadful murder-trial, you 
would say, I suppose, that it was possible that 



vin] IN A SHADY PLACE. 125 

the least guilty man in the Court was the 
murderer, and that possibly the judge who 
tried him, by yielding to the temptation of 
making one unfair remark, had committed a 
crime outweighing the criminal's whole career!" 
'"Certainly I should," Arthur firmly replied. 
" It sounds like a paradox, I admit. But just 
think what a grievous sin it must be, in God's 
sight, to yield to some very slight temptation, 
which we could have resisted with perfect ease, 
and to do it deliberately, and in the full light 
of God's Law. What penance can atone for 
a sin like that ? " 

" I ca'n't reject your theory," I said. " But 
how it seems to widen the possible area of Sin 
in the world ! " 

"Is that so ? " Lady Muriel anxiously 
enquired. 

" Oh, not so, not so !" was the eager reply. 
" To me it seems to clear away much of the 
cloud that hangs over the world's history. 
When this view first made itself clear to me, 
I remember walking out into the fields, re- 
peating to myself that line of Tennyson ' There 
seemed no room for sense of wrong ! ' The 



126 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

thought, that perhaps the real guilt of the 
human race was infinitely less than I fancied 

it that the millions, whom I had thought of 

as sunk in hopeless depths of sin, were per- 
haps, in God's sight, scarcely sinning at all 

was more sweet than words can tell ! Life 
seemed more bright and beautiful, when once 
that thought had come ! * A livelier emerald 
twinkles in the grass, A purer sapphire melts 
into the sea!' His voice trembled as he 
concluded, and the tears stood in his eyes. 

Lady Muriel shaded her face with her hand, 
and was silent for a minute. " It is a beautiful 
thought," she said, looking up at last. " Thank 
you Arthur, for putting it into my head ! " 

The Earl returned in time to join us at tea, 
and to give us the very unwelcome tidings that 
a fever had broken out in the little harbour- 
town that lay below us a fever of so malig- 
nant a type that, though it had only appeared a 
day or two ago, there were already more than 
a dozen down in it, two or three of whom were 
reported to be in imminent danger. 

In answer to the eager questions of Arthur 
who of course took a deep scientific interest 



vin] IN A SHADY PLACE. 127 

in the matter he could give very few technical 

details, though he had met the local doctor. It 
appeared, however, that it was an almost new 

disease at least in this century, though it 

might prove to be identical with the ' Plague ' 

recorded in History very infectious, and 

frightfully rapid in its action. "It will not, 
however, prevent our party to-morrow," he 
said in conclusion. " None of the guests be- 
long to the infected district, which is, as you 
know, exclusively peopled by fishermen : so 
you may come without any fear." 

Arthur was very silent, all the way back, 
and, on reaching our lodgings, immediately 
plunged into medical studies, connected with 
the alarming malady of whose arrival we had 
just heard. 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE FAREWELL-PARTY. 

ON the following day, Arthur and I reached 
the Hall in good time, as only a few of the 

guests it was to be a party of eighteen 

had as yet arrived ; and these were talking with 
the Earl, leaving us the opportunity of a few 
words apart with our hostess. 

"Who is that very learned-looking man with 
the large spectacles ? " Arthur enquired. " I 
haven't met him here before, have I ? " 

" No, he's a new friend of ours," said Lady 
Muriel: "a German, I believe. He is such a 
dear old thing ! And quite the most learned 



IX] THE FAREWELL-PARTY. 129 

man I ever met with one exception, of 

course ! " she added humbly, as Arthur drew 
himself up with an air of offended dignity. 

-' And the young lady in blue, just beyond 
him, talking to that foreign-looking man. Is 
she learned, too ? " 

" I don't know," said Lady Muriel. " But 
I'm told she's a wonderful piano-forte-player. I 
hope you'll hear her to-night. I asked that 
foreigner to take her in, because hes very 
musical, too. He's a French Count, I believe ; 
and he sings splendidly ! " 

" Science music singing you have in- 
deed got a complete party ! " said Arthur. " I 
feel quite a privileged person, meeting all these 
stars. I do love music ! " 

" But the party isn't quite complete ! " said 
Lady Muriel. " You haven't brought us those 
two beautiful children," she went on, turning 
to me. " He brought them here to tea, you 
know, one day last summer," again addressing 
Arthur ; " and they are such darlings ! " 

" They are, indeed" I assented. 

" But why haven't you brought them with 
you ? You promised my father you would" 

K 



130 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" I'm very sorry," I said ; " but really it was 
impossible to bring them with me." Here I 
most certainly meant to conclude the sentence: 
and it was with a feeling of utter amazement, 
which I cannot adequately describe, that I 

heard myself going on speaking. " but they 

are to join me here in the course of the even- 
ing " were the words, uttered in my voice, and 
seeming to come from my lips. 

" I'm so glad ! " Lady Muriel joyfully replied. 
" I shall enjoy introducing them to some of my 
friends here ! When do you expect them ? " 

I took refuge in silence. The only honest 
reply would have been " That was not my 
remark. / didn't say it, and it isnt true!" 
But I had not the moral courage to make such 
a confession. The character of a ' lunatic ' is 
not, I believe, very difficult to acquire : but it 
is amazingly difficult to get rid of: and it 
seemed quite certain that any such speech as 
that would quite justify the issue of a writ ( de 
lunatico inquirendo? 

Lady Muriel evidently thought I had failed 
to hear her question, and turned to Arthur 
with a remark on some other subject ; and I 



ix] THE FAREWELL-PARTY. 131 

had time to recover from my shock of surprise 

or to awake out of my momentary ' eerie ' 

condition, whichever it was. 

When things around me seemed once more 
to be real, Arthur was saying " Tm afraid 
there's no help for it : they must be finite in 
number." 

" I should be sorry to have to believe it," 
said Lady Muriel. "Yet, when one comes to 
think of it, there are no new melodies, now-a- 
days. What people talk of as ' the last new 
song' always recalls to me some tune I've 
known as a child ! " 

" The day must come if the world lasts 

long enough ' said Arthur, "when every 

possible tune will have been composed every 

possible pun perpetrated " (Lady Muriel 

wrung her hands, like a tragedy- queen) "and, 
worse than that, every possible book written ! 
For the number of words is finite." 

" It'll make very little difference to the 
authors" I suggested. " Instead of saying 
' what book shall I write ? ' an author will ask 
himself ' which book shall I write ? ' A mere 
verbal distinction ! " 



T32 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Lady Muriel gave me an approving smile. 
" But lunatics would always write new books, 
surely ? " she went on. " They couldnt write 
the sane books over again ! " 

" True," said Arthur. " But their books 
would come to an end, also. The number of 
lunatic books is as finite as the number of 
lunatics." 

" And that number is becoming greater 
every year," said a pompous man, whom I 
recognised as the self-appointed showman on 
the day of the picnic. 

" So they say," replied Arthur. " And, when 
ninety per cent, of us are lunatics," (he seemed 
to be in a wildly nonsensical mood) " the 
asylums will be put to their proper use." 

" And that is ? " the pompous man 

gravely enquired. 

" To shelter the sane /" said Arthur. " We 
shall bar ourselves in. The lunatics will have 
it all their own way, outside. They '11 do it 
a little queerly, no doubt. Railway-collisions 
will be always happening : steamers always 
blowing up : most of the towns will be burnt 
down : most of the ships sunk 



IX] THE FAREWELL-PARTY. 133 

"And most of the men. killed!" murmured 
the pompous man, who was evidently hopelessly 
bewildered. 

" Certainly," Arthur assented. " Till at last 
there will be fewer lunatics than sane men. 
Then we come out : they go in : and things 
return to their normal condition ! " 

The pompous man frowned darkly, and bit 
his lip, and folded his arms, vainly trying to 
think it out. "He is jesting!" he muttered 
to himself at last, in a tone of withering con- 
tempt, as he stalked away. 

By this time the other guests had arrived ; 
and dinner was announced. Arthur of course 
took down Lady Muriel : and / was pleased 
to find myself seated at her other side, with 
a severe-looking old lady (whom I had not 
met before, and whose name I had, as is usual 
in introductions, entirely failed to catch, merely 
gathering that it sounded like a compound- 
name) as my partner for the banquet. 

She appeared, however, to be acquainted 
with Arthur, and confided to me in a low voice 
her opinion that he was " a very argumentative 
young man." Arthur, for his part, seemed well 



134 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

inclined to show himself worthy of the character 
she had given him, and, hearing her say " I 
never take wine with my soup ! " (this was not 
a confidence to me, but was launched upon 
Society, as a matter of general interest), he 
at once challenged a combat by asking her 
" ivhen would you say that property commence 
in a plate of soup ? " 

" This is my soup," she sternly replied : 
" and what is before you is yours." 

" No doubt," said Arthur : " but when did I 
begin to own it ? Up to the moment of its 
being put into the plate, it was the property 
of our host : while being offered round the 
table, it was, let us say, held in trust by the 
waiter : did it become mine when I accepted 
it ? Or when it was placed before me ? Or 
when I took the first spoonful ? " 

" He is a very argumentative young man ! " 
was all the old lady would say : but she said 
it audibly, this time, feeling that Society had a 
right to know it. 

Arthur smiled mischievously. " I shouldn't 
mind betting you a shilling," he said, " that the 
Eminent Barrister next you" (It certainly is 



ix] THE FAREWELL-PARTY. 135 

possible to say words so as to make them 
begin with capitals !) " ca'n't answer me ! " 

" I never bet," she sternly replied. 

" Not even sixpenny points at whist ? " 

" Never ! " she repeated. " Whist is inno- 
cent enough : but whist played for money ! " 
She shuddered. 

Arthur became serious again. " I'm afraid I 
ca'n't take that view," he said. " I consider 
that the introduction of small stakes for card- 
playing was one of the most moral acts Society 
ever did, as Society." 

" How was it so ? " said Lady Muriel. 

" Because it took Cards, once for all, out of 
the category of games at which cheating is pos- 
sible. Look at the way Croquet is demoralising 
Society. Ladies are beginning to cheat at it, 
terribly : and, if they're found out, they only 
laugh, and call it fun. But when there's money 
at stake, that is out of the question. The 
swindler is not accepted as a wit. When a 
man sits down to cards, and cheats his friends 
out of their money, he doesn't get much fun 

out of it unless he thinks it fun to be kicked 

down stairs ! " 



136 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" If all gentlemen thought as badly of ladies 
as you do," my neighbour remarked with some 

bitterness, " there would be very few very 

few ." She seemed doubtful how to end 
her sentence, but at last took " honeymoons " 
as a safe word. 

" On the contrary," said Arthur, the mis- 
chievous smile returning to his face, " if only 
people would adopt my theory, the number of 

honeymoons quite of a new kind would 

be greatly increased ! " 

" May we hear about this new kind of 
honeymoon ? " said Lady Muriel. 

" Let X be the gentleman," Arthur began, in 
a slightly raised voice, as he now found himself 
with an audience of six, including ' Mein Herr,' 
who was seated at the other side of my poly- 
nomial partner. " Let X be the gentleman, 
and Kthe lady to whom he thinks of proposing. 
He applies for an Experimental Honeymoon. 
It is granted. Forthwith the young couple- 
accompanied by the great-aunt of K, to act as 

chaperone start for a month's tour, during 

which they have many a moonlight-walk, and 
many a tete-a-tete conversation, and each can 



ix] THE FAREWELL-PARTY. 137 

form a more correct estimate of the other's 
character, in four weeks, than would have been 
possible in as many years, when meeting under 
the ordinary restrictions of Society. And it is 
only after their return that X finally decides 
whether he will, or will not, put the momentous 
question to F/" 

"In nine cases out of ten," the pompous man 
proclaimed, " he would decide to break it off! " 

" Then, in nine cases out of ten," Arthur 
rejoined, " an unsuitable match would be pre- 
vented, and both parties saved from misery ! " 

"The only really unsuitable matches," the 
old lady remarked, " are those made without 
sufficient Money. Love may come afterwards. 
Money is needed to begin with ! " 

This remark was cast loose upon Society, as 
a sort of general challenge ; and, as such, it was 
at once accepted by several of those within 
hearing : Money became the key-note of the 
conversation for some time ; and a fitful echo of 
it was again heard, when the dessert had been 
placed upon the table, the servants had left the 
room, and the Earl had started the \vine in 
its welcome progress round the table. 



138 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" I'm very glad to see you keep up the old 
customs," I said to Lady Muriel as I filled her 
glass. " It's really delightful to experience, 
once more, the peaceful feeling that comes over 
one when the waiters have left the room- 
when one can converse without the feeling of 
being overheard, and without having dishes 
constantly thrust over one's shoulder. How 
much more sociable it is to be able to pour 
out the wine for the ladies, and to hand the 
dishes to those who wish for them ! " 

"In that case, kindly send those peaches 
down here," said a fat red-faced man, who was 
seated beyond our pompous friend. " I've 

been wishing for them diagonally for some 

time ! " 

" Yes, it is a ghastly innovation," Lady 
Muriel replied, " letting the waiters carry round 
the wine at dessert. For one thing, they 

always take it the wrong way round which of 

course brings bad luck to everybody present ! " 

" Better go the wrong way than not go at 
all!" said our host. "Would you kindly help 
yourself?" (This was to the fat red-faced 
man.) " You are not a teetotaler, I think ? " 



ix] THE FAREWELL-PARTY 139 

" Indeed but I am ! " he replied, as he 
pushed on the bottles. " Nearly twice as 
much money is spent in England on Drink, 
as on any other article of food. Read this 
card." (What faddist ever goes about without 
a pocketful of the appropriate literature ?) 
" The stripes of different colours represent the 
amounts spent on various articles of food. 
Look at the highest three. Money spent on 
butter and on cheese, thirty-five millions : on 
bread, seventy millions : on intoxicating liquors, 
one hundred and thirty-six millions ! If I 
had my way, I would close every public-house 
in the land ! Look at that card, and read the 
motto. That's where all the money goes to ! " 

" Have you seen the Anti-Teetotal Card? r 
Arthur innocently enquired. 

" No, Sir, I have not ! " the orator savagely 
replied. " What is it like ? " 

" Almost exactly like this one. The coloured 
stripes are the same. Only, instead of the 
words ' Money spent on,' it has ' Incomes 
derived from sale of ; and, instead of ' That's 
where all the money goes to,' its motto is 
' Thafs where all the money comes from ! ' ' 



140 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

The red-faced man scowled, but evidently 
considered Arthur beneath his notice. So 
Lady Muriel took up the cudgels. " Do you 
hold the theory," she enquired, " that people 
can preach teetotalism more effectually by be- 
ing teetotalers themselves ? " 

" Certainly I do ! " replied the red-faced man. 
" Now, here is a case in point," unfolding 
a newspaper-cutting : " let me read you this 
letter from a teetotaler. To the Editor. 
Sir, I was once a moderate drinker, and knew 
a man ivho drank to excess. I went to him. 
' Give up this drink,' I said. ' It will ruin your 
health ! ' ' You drink,' he said : ' why shouldn't 
I ? ' ' Yes] I said, ' but I know when to 
leave off.' He turned away from me. ' You 
drink in your way ] he said: ''let me drink 
in mine. Be off !' Then 1 saw that, to do 
any good with him, I must forswear drink. 
From that hour I haven t touched a drop !" 

" There ! What do you say to that ? " He 
looked round triumphantly, while the cutting 
was handed round for inspection. 

" How very curious ! " exclaimed Arthur, 
when it had reached him. " Did you happen 



rx] THE FAREWELL-PARTY. 141 

to see a letter, last week, about early rising ? 
It was strangely like this one." 

The red-faced man's curiosity was roused. 
" Where did it appear ? " he asked. 

" Let me read it to you," said Arthur. He 
took some papers from his pocket, opened one 
of them, and read as follows. To the Editor. 
Sir, I was once a moderate sleeper, and knew a 
man who slept to excess. I pleaded with him. 
' Give up this lying in bed,' I said, ' It will 
ruin your health /' ' You go to bed 1 , he said: 
' why shouldnt I ?' ' Yes,' I said, 'but I know 
when to get up in the morning' He turned away 
from me. ' You sleep in your way,' he said : 
' let me sleep in mine. Be off ! ' Then I saw 
that to do any good with him, I must forswear 
sleep. From that hour I haven t been to bed ! " 

Arthur folded and pocketed his paper, and 
passed on the newspaper-cutting. None of us 
dared to laugh, the red-faced man was 
evidently so angry. " Your parallel doesn't run 
on all fours ! " he snarled. 

"Moderate drinkers never do so!" Arthur 
quietly replied. Even the stern old lady 
laughed at this. 



H2 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" But it needs many other things to make a 
perfect dinner ! " said Lady Muriel, evidently 
anxious to change the subject. " Mein Herr ! 
What is your idea of a perfect dinner-party ? " 

The old man looked round smilingly, and 
his gigantic spectacles seemed more gigantic 
than ever. "A perfect dinner-party?'' he 
repeated. " First, it must be presided over 
by our present hostess ! " 

"That, of course!" she gaily interposed. 
" But what else, Mein Herr ? " 

" I can but tell you what I have seen," said 

Mein Herr, "in mine own in the country I 

have traveled in." 

He paused for a full minute, and gazed 

steadily at the ceiling with so dreamy an 

expression on his face, that I feared he was 
going off into a reverie, which seemed to be 
his normal state. However, after a minute, 
he suddenly began again. 

" That which chiefly causes the failure of a 

dinner-party, is the running-short not of meat, 

nor yet of drink, but of conversation''' 

" In an English dinner-party," I remarked, 
'' I have never known small-talk run short ! " 



ix] THE FAREWELL-PARTY. 143 

" Pardon me," Mein Herr respectfully replied, 
" I did not say 'small-talk.' I said 'conversa- 
tion.' All such topics as the weather, or politics, 
or local gossip, are unknown among us. They 
are either vapid or controversial. What we 
need for conversation is a topic of interest and 
of novelty. To secure these things we have 
tried various plans Moving-Pictures, Wild- 
Creatures, Moving-Guests, and a Revolving- 
Humorist. But this last is only adapted to 
small parties." 

" Let us have it in four separate Chapters, 
please ! " said Lady Muriel, who was evidently 

deeply interested as, indeed, most of the 

party were, by this time : and, all down the 
table, talk had ceased, and heads were leaning 
forwards, eager to catch fragments of Mein 
Herr's oration. 

"Chapter One! Moving-Pictures!" was pro- 
claimed in the silvery voice of our hostess. 

" The dining-table is shaped like a circular 
ring," Mein Herr began, in low dreamy tones, 
which, however, were perfectly audible in the 
silence. " The guests are seated at the inner 
side as well as the outer, having ascended to 



144 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

their places by a winding-staircase, from the 
room below. Along the middle of the table 
runs a little railway ; and there is an endless 
train of trucks, worked round by machinery ; 
and on each truck there are two pictures, lean- 
ing back to back. The train makes two circuits 
during dinner ; and, when it has been once 
round, the waiters turn the pictures round in 
each truck, making them face the other way. 
Thus every guest sees every picture ! " 

He paused, and the silence seemed deader 
than ever. Lady Muriel looked aghast. 
" Really, if this goes on," she exclaimed, " I 
shall have to drop a pin ! Oh, it's my fault, is 
it ? " (In answer to an appealing look from Mein 
Herr.) " I was forgetting my duty. Chapter 
Two ! Wild-Creatures ! " 

" We found the Moving-Pictures a little 
monotonous," said Mein Herr. " People 
didn't care to talk Art through a whole dinner ; 
so we tried Wild-Creatures. Among the flowers, 
which we laid (just as you do) about the table, 
were to be seen, here a mouse, there a beetle ; 
here a spider," (Lady Muriel shuddered) "there 
a wasp ; here a toad, there a snake ;" ("Father ! " 



ix] THE FAREWELL-PARTY. 145 

said Lady Muriel, plaintively. " Did you hear 
that ?") "so we had plenty to talk about ! " 

" And when you got stung " the old lady 

began. 

" They were all chained-up, dear Madam ! " 

And the old lady gave a satisfied nod. 

There was no silence to follow, this time. 
" Third Chapter ! " Lady Muriel proclaimed at 
once, " Moving-Guests ! " 

" Even the Wild- Creatures proved mono- 
tonous/' the orator proceeded. " So we left the 
guests to choose their own subjects ; and, to 
avoid monotony, we changed them. We made 
the table of two rings ; and the inner ring 
moved slowly round, all the time, along with 
the floor in the middle and the inner row of 
guests. Thus every inner guest was brought 
face-to-face with every outer guest. It was a 
little confusing, sometimes, to have to begin a 
story to one friend and finish it to another ; 
but every plan has its faults, you know." 

" Fourth Chapter ! " Lady Muriel hastened 
to announce. "The Revolving- H umorist !" 

" For a small party we found it an excellent 
plan to have a round table, with a hole cut in 

L 



146 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

the middle large enough to hold one guest. 
Here we placed our best talker. He revolved 
slowly, facing every other guest in turn : and 
he told lively anecdotes the whole time ! " 

" I shouldn't like it ! " murmured the pompous 
man. " It would make me giddy, revolving 
like that ! I should decline to ' here it 
appeared to dawn upon him that perhaps the 
assumption he was making was not warranted 
by the circumstances : he took a hasty gulp of 
wine, and choked himself. 

But Mein Herr had relapsed into reverie, 
and made no further remark. Lady Muriel 
gave the signal, and the ladies left the room. 



CHAPTER X. 

JABBERING AND JAM. 

WHEN the last lady had disappeared, and 
the Earl, taking his place at the head of the 
table, had issued the military order " Gentle- 
men ! Close up the ranks, if you please ! ", 
and when, in obedience to his command, we 
had gathered ourselves compactly round him, 
the pompous man gave a deep sigh of relief, 
filled his glass to the brim, pushed on the 
wine, and began one of his favorite orations. 
" They are charming, no doubt ! Charming, 
but very frivolous. They drag us down, so 
to speak, to a lower level. They 

L 2 



148 SYLVJE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Do not all pronouns require antecedent 
nouns ? " the Earl gently enquired. 

" Pardon me," said the pompous man, with 
lofty condescension. " I had overlooked the 
noun. The ladies. We regret their absence. 
Yet we console ourselves. Thought is free. 
With them, we are limited to trivial topics- 
Art, Literature, Politics, and so forth. One 
can bear to discuss such paltry matters with 

a lady. But no man, in his senses " (he 

looked sternly round the table, as if defying 

contradiction) " ever yet discussed WINE 

with a lady ! " He sipped his glass of port, 
leaned back in his chair, and slowly raised it 
up to his eye, so as to look through it at the 
lamp. "The vintage, my Lord ? " he enquired, 
glancing at his host. 

The Earl named the date. 

" So I had supposed. But one likes to be 
certain. The tint is, perhaps, slightly pale. 
But the body is unquestionable. And as for 
the bouquet 

Ah, that magic Bouquet ! How vividly 
that single word recalled the scene ! The 
little beggar-boy turning his somersault in 



x] JABBERING AND JAM. 149 

the road the sweet little crippled maiden in 

my arms the mysterious evanescent nurse- 
maid all rushed tumultuously into my mind, 

like the creatures of a dream : and through 
this mental haze there still boomed on, like 
the tolling of a bell, the solemn voice of the 
great connoisseur of WINE ! 

Even his utterances had taken on themselves 
a strange and dream-like form. " No," he 

resumed and zv/ty is it, I pause to ask, that, 

in taking up the broken thread of a dialogue, 
one always begins with this cheerless monosyl- 
lable ? After much anxious thought, I have 
come to the conclusion that the object in view 
is the same as that of the schoolboy, when the 
sum he is working has got into a hopeless 
muddle, and when in despair he takes the 
sponge, washes it all out, and begins again. 
Just in the same way the bewildered orator, 
by the simple process of denying everything 
that has been hitherto asserted, makes a clean 
sweep of the whole discussion, and can ' start 
fair' with a fresh theory. " No," he resumed : 
" there's nothing like cherry-jam, after all. 
That's what / say ! " 



150 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Not for all qualities ! " an eager little man 
shrilly interposed. " For richness of general 
tone I don't say that it has a rival. But for 

delicacy of modulation for what one may call 

the ' harmonics ' of flavour give me good 

old raspberry -jam \ " 

" Allow me one word ! " The fat red-faced 
man, quite hoarse with excitement, broke into 
the dialogue. " It's too important a question 
to be settled by Amateurs ! I can give you 

the views of a Professional perhaps the most 

experienced jam-taster now living. Why, I've 
known him fix the age of strawberry-jam, to 

a day and we all know what a difficult jam 

it is to give a date to on a single tasting ! 

Well, I put to him the very question you are 
discussing. His words were l cherry-yam is 
best, for mere chiaroscuro of flavour: raspberry- 
jam lends itself best to those resolved discords 
that linger so lovingly on the tongue : but, for 
rapturous ittterness of saccharine perfection, it's 
apricot-jam first and the rest nowhere ! ' That 
was well put, wasnt it ? " 

" Consummately put ! " shrieked the eager 
little man. 



x] JABBERING AND JAM. 151 

" I know your friend well," said the pompous 
man. "As a jam-taster, he has no rival! Yet 
I scarcely think 

But here the discussion became general : and 
his words were lost in a confused medley of 
names, every guest sounding the praises of his 
own favorite jam. At length, through the 
din, our host's voice made itself heard. " Let 
us join the ladies ! " These words seemed to 
recall me to waking life ; and I felt sure that, 
for the last few minutes, I had relapsed into 
the ' eerie ' state. 

" A strange dream ! " I said to myself as we 
trooped upstairs. " Grown men discussing, as 
seriously as if they were matters of life and 
death, the hopelessly trivial details of mere 
delicacies, that appeal to no higher human 
function than the nerves of the tongue and 
palate ! What a humiliating spectacle such a 
discussion would be in waking life ! " 

When, on our way to the drawing-room, I 
received from the housekeeper my little friends, 
clad in the daintiest of evening costumes, and 
looking, in the flush of expectant delight, more 
radiantly beautiful than I had ever seen them 



152 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

before, I felt no shock of surprise, but accepted 
the fact with the same unreasoning apathy with 
which one meets the events of a dream, and 
was merely conscious of a vague anxiety as to 
how they would acquit themselves in so novel 

a scene forgetting that Court-life in Outland 

was as good training as they could need for 
Society in the more substantial world. 

It would be best, I thought, to introduce 
them as soon as possible to some good-natured 
lady-guest, and I selected the young lady whose 
piano-forte-playing had been so much talked of. 
" I am sure you like children," I said. " May 
I introduce two little friends of mine ? This is 

Sylvie and this is Bruno." 

The young lady kissed Sylvie very graciously. 
She would have done the same for Bruno, but 
he hastily drew back out of reach. " Their 
faces are new to me," she said. " Where do 
you come from, my dear ?" 

I had not anticipated so inconvenient a 
question ; and, fearing that it might embarrass 
Sylvie, I answered for her. " They come from 
some distance. They are only here just for 
this one evening." 



x] JABBERING AND JAM. 153 

" How far have you come, dear ? " the young 
lady persisted. 

Sylvie looked puzzled. " A mile or two, I 
think" she said doubtfully. 

" A mile or three" said Bruno. 

" You shouldn't say ' a mile or three] " Sylvie 
corrected him. 

The young lady nodded approval. " Sylvie's 
quite right. It isn't usual to say ' a mile or 
three: " 

" It would be usual if we said it often 

enough," said Bruno. 

It was the young lady's turn to look puzzled 
now. " He's very quick, for his age ! " she 
murmured. " You're not more than seven, are 
you, dear ? " she added aloud. 

''I'm not so many as that" said Bruno. 
" I'm one. Sylvie's one. Sylvie and me is 
two. Sylvie taught me to count." 

" Oh, I wasn't counting you, you know ! " 
the young lady laughingly replied. 

" Hasn't oo learnt to count ? " said Bruno. 

The young lady bit her lip. " Dear ! What 
embarrassing questions he does ask ! " she said 
in a half-audible ' aside.' 



154 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Bruno, you shouldn't ! " Sylvie said re- 
provingly. 

"Shouldn't what?" said Bruno. 

" You shouldn't ask that sort of questions." 

" What sort of questions?" Bruno mis- 
chievously persisted. 

" What she told you not," Sylvie replied, 
with a shy glance at the young lady, and losing 
all sense of grammar in her confusion. 

" Oo ca'n't pronounce it ! " Bruno triumph- 
antly cried. And he turned to the young lady, 
for sympathy in his victory. " I knewed she 
couldn't pronounce ' umbrella-sting ' ! " 

The young lady thought it best to return to 
the arithmetical problem. " When I asked if 
you were seven, you know, I didn't mean 
' how many children ? ' I meant ' how many 
years ' 

" Only got two ears," said Bruno. " Nobody's 
got seven ears." 

"And you belong to this little girl?" the 
young lady continued, skilfully evading the 
anatomical problem. 

"No, I doosn't belong to her!" said Bruno. 
"Sylvie belongs to me!" And he clasped 



x] JABBERING AND JAM. 155 

his arms round her as he added " She are my 
very mine ! " 

" And, do you know," said the young lady, 
" I've a little sister at home, exactly \ikeyour 
sister ? I'm sure they'd love each other." 

" They'd be very extremely useful to each 
other," Bruno said, thoughtfully. "And they 
wouldn't want no looking-glasses to brush their 
hair wiz." 

"Why not, my child ?" 

" Why, each one would do for the other one's 
looking-glass, a-course ! " cried Bruno. 

But here Lady Muriel, who had been stand- 
ing by, listening to this bewildering dialogue, 
interrupted it to ask if the young lady would 
favour us with some music ; and the children 
followed their new friend to the piano. 

Arthur came and sat down by me. "If 
rumour speaks truly," he whispered, " we are to 
have a real treat ! " And then, amid a breath- 
less silence, the performance began. 

She was one of those players whom Society 
talks of as ' brilliant,' and she dashed into the 
loveliest of Haydn's Symphonies in a style that 
was clearly the outcome of years of patient 



156 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

study under the best masters. At first it 
seemed to be the perfection of piano-forte- 
playing ; but in a few minutes I began to ask 
myself, wearily, " What is it that is wanting ? 
Why does one get no pleasure from it ? " 

Then I set myself to listen intently to 
every note ; and the mystery explained itself. 
There was an almost-perfect mechanical cor- 
rectness and there was nothing else ! False 

notes, of course, did not occur : she knew the 
piece too well for that; but there was just 
enough irregularity of time to betray that the 

player had no real ' ear ' for music just 

enough inarticulateness in the more elaborate 
passages to show that she did not think her 

audience worth taking real pains for just 

enough mechanical monotony of accent to take 
all soul out of the heavenly modulations she 
was profaning in short, it was simply irritat- 
ing ; and, when she had rattled off the finale 
and had struck the final chord as if, the instru- 
ment being now done with, it didn't matter 
how many wires she broke, I could not even 
affect to join in the stereotyped " Oh, thank 
you ! " which was chorused around me. 



x] JABBERING AND JAM. 157 

Lady Muriel joined us for a moment. 
" Isn't it beautiful ? " she whispered, to Arthur, 
with a mischievous smile. 

" No, it isn't ! " said Arthur. But the gentle 
sweetness of his face quite neutralised the 
apparent rudeness of the reply. 

" Such execution, you know ! " she persisted. 

" That's what she deserves" Arthur doggedly 
replied : " but people are so prejudiced against 
capital 

" Now you're beginning to talk nonsense ! " 
Lady Muriel cried. " But you do like Music, 
don't you ? You said so just now." 

" Do I like Music ? " the Doctor repeated 
softly to himself. " My dear Lady Muriel, 
there is Music and Music. Your question is 
painfully vague. You might as well ask ' Do 
you like People ? ' " 

Lady Muriel bit her lip, frowned, and 
stamped with one tiny foot. As a dramatic 
representation of ill-temper, it was distinctly 
not a success. However, it took in one of her 
audience, and Bruno hastened to interpose, as 
peacemaker in a rising quarrel, with the remark 
" / likes Peoples ! " 



158 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Arthur laid a loving hand on the little curly 
head. " What ? All Peoples ? " he enquired. 

" Not all Peoples," Bruno explained. " Only 

but Sylvie and Lady Muriel and him 

(pointing to the Earl) " and oo and oo ! " 

" You shouldn't point at people,' said Sylvie. 
<l It's very rude." 

" In Bruno's World," I said, " there are only 
four People worth mentioning ! " 

"In Bruno's World !" Lady Muriel repeated 
thoughtfully. " A bright and flowery world. 
Where the grass is always green, where the 
breezes always blow softly, and the rain-clouds 
never gather ; where there are no wild beasts, 
and no deserts 

" There must be deserts," Arthur decisively 
remarked. " At least if it was my ideal world." 

" But what possible use is there in a desert? 1 
said Lady Muriel. " Surely you would have 
no wilderness in your ideal world ? " 

Arthur smiled. " But indeed I would f" he 
said. " A wilderness would be more necessary 
than a railway ; and far more conducive to 
general happiness than church-bells ! " 

" But what would you use it for ? " 



X] JABBERING AND JAM. 159 

" To practise music in" he replied. " All the 
young ladies, that have no ear for music, but 
insist on learning it, should be conveyed, 
every morning, two or three miles into the 
wilderness. There each would find a comfort- 
able room provided for her, and also a cheap 
second-hand piano-forte, on which she might 
play for hours, without adding one needless 
pang to the sum of human misery ! " 

Lady Muriel glanced round in alarm, lest 
these barbarous sentiments should be over- 
heard. But the fair musician was at a safe 
distance. " At any rate you must allow that 
she's a sweet girl ? " she resumed. 

" Oh, certainly. As sweet as eau sucrfa, if 
you choose and nearly as interesting ! " 

" You are incorrigible ! " said Lady Muriel, 
and turned to me. " I hope you found Mrs. 
Mills an interesting companion ?" 

" Oh, that's her name, is it ? " I said. " I 
fancied there was more of it." 

" So there is : and it will be ' at your proper 
peril ' (whatever that may mean) if you ever 
presume to address her as ' Mrs. Mills.' She 
is 'Mrs. Ernest Atkinson Mills'! 



160 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" She is one of those would-be grandees," 
said Arthur, " who think that, by tacking on to 
their surname all their spare Christian-names, 
with hyphens between, they can give it an 
aristocratic flavour. As if it wasn't trouble 
enough to remember one surname ! " 

By this time the room was getting crowded, 
as the guests, invited for the evening-party, 
were beginning to arrive, and Lady Muriel 
had to devote herself to the task of welcoming 
them, which she did with the sweetest grace 
imaginable. Sylvie and Bruno stood by her, 
deeply interested in the process. 

" I hope you like my friends ? " she said to 
them. " Specially my dear old friend, Mein 
Herr (What's become of him, I wonder ? 
Oh, there he is !), that old gentleman in 
spectacles, with a long beard ? " 

" He's a grand old gentleman ! " Sylvie said, 
gazing admiringly at ' Mein Herr,' who had 
settled down in a corner, from which his mild 
eyes beamed on us through a gigantic pair of 
spectacles. " And what a lovely beard ! " 

" What does he call his-self ? " Bruno 
whispered. 



xj JABBERING AND JAM. 161 

"He calls himself ' Mein Herr,'" Sylvie 
whispered in reply. 

Bruno shook his head impatiently. " That's 
what he calls his hair, not his self, oo silly ! " 
He appealed to me. " What doos he call his 
self, Mister Sir ? " 

" That's the only name / know of," I said. 
11 But he looks very lonely. Don't you pity his 
grey hairs ? " 

" I pities his self," said Bruno, still harping 
on the misnomer; "but I doosn't pity his 
hair, one bit. His hair ca'n't feel ! " 

" We met him this afternoon," said Sylvie. 
" We'd been to see Nero, and we'd had such 
fun with him, making him invisible again ! 
And we saw that nice old gentleman as we 
came back." 

"Well, let's go and talk to him, and cheer 
him up a little," I said : '' and perhaps we 
shall find out what he calls himself," 



M 



CHAPTER XI. 

THE MAN IN THE MOON. 

THE children came willingly. With one of 
them on each side of me, I approached the 
corner occupied by ' Mein Herr.' " You 
don't object to children, I hope ? " I began. 

" Crabbed age and youth cannot live to- 
gether ! " the old man cheerfully replied, with 
a most genial smile. " Now take a good look 
at me, my children ! You would guess me to 
be an old man, wouldn't you ? " 

At first sight, though his face had reminded 
me so mysteriously of " the Professor/' he 
had seemed to be decidedly a younger man : 



XI] 



THE MAN IN THE MOON. 



163 



but, when I came to look into the wonderful 
depth of those large dreamy eyes, I felt, 
with a strange sense of awe, that he was in- 
calculably older : he seemed to gaze at us 
out of some by-gone age, centuries away. 




" I don't know if oo're an old man," Bruno 
answered, as the children, won over by the 
gentle voice, crept a little closer to him. " I 
thinks oo're eighty-three'' 

M 2 



164 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" He is very exact ! " said Mein Herr. 

"Is he anything like right ? " I said. 

"There are reasons," Mein Herr gently 
replied, " reasons which I am not at liberty 
to explain, for not mentioning definitely any 
Persons, Places, or Dates. One remark only 

I will permit myself to make that the 

period of life, between the ages of a hundred- 
and-sixty-five and a hundred-and-seventy-five, 
is a specially safe one." 

"How do you make that out?" I said. 

" Thus. You would consider swimming to 
be a very safe amusement, if you scarcely 
ever heard of any one dying of it. Am I 
not right in thinking that you never heard of 
any one dying between those two ages ? " 

"I see what you mean," I said : "but I'm 
afraid you ca'n't prove swimming to be safe, 
on the same principle. It is no uncommon 
thing to hear of some one being drowned" 

"In my country," said Mein Herr, "no 
one is ever drowned." 

"Is there no water deep enough ? " 

" Plenty ! But we ca'n't sink. We are all 
lighter than water. Let me explain," he added, 



XI] THE MAN IN THE MOON. 165 

seeing my look of surprise. " Suppose you 
desire a race of pigeons of a particular shape 
or colour, do you not select, from year to 
year, those that are nearest to the shape or 
colour you want, and keep those, and part 
with the others ? " 

"We do," I replied. "We call it 'Arti- 
ficial Selection." 

" Exactly so," said Mein Herr. " Well, we 
have practised that for some centuries con- 
stantly selecting the lightest people : so that, 
now, everybody is lighter than water." 

" Then you never can be drowned at sea ?" 
" Never ! It is only on the land for in- 
stance, when attending a play in a theatre 
that we are in such a danger. 

"How can that happen at a theatre ? " 
"Our theatres are all underground. Large 
tanks of water are placed above. If a fire 
breaks out, the taps are turned, and in one 
minute the theatre is flooded, up to the very 
roof! Thus the fire is extinguished." 
" And the audience, I presume ? " 
"That is a minor matter," Mein Herr care- 
lessly replied. " But they have the comfort of 



166 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

knowing that, whether drowned or not, they 
are all lighter than water. We have not yet 
reached the standard of making people lighter 
than air : but we are aiming at it ; and, in 
another thousand years or so 

" What doos oo do wiz the peoples that's 
too heavy ? " Bruno solemnly enquired. 

" We have applied the same process," Mein 
Herr continued, not noticing Bruno's ques- 
tion, " to many other purposes. We have 

gone on selecting walking-sticks always 

keeping those that walked best till' we have 

obtained some, that can walk by themselves ! 
We have gone on selecting cotton-wool, till we 
have got some lighter than air ! You've no 
idea what a useful material it is ! We call 
it ' Imponderal.' ' 

'' What do you use it for ? " 

"Well, chiefly for packing articles, to go 
by Parcel-Post. It makes them weigh less 
than nothing, you know." 

" And how do the Post-Office people know 
what you have to pay ? ' 

"That's the beauty of the new system!" 
Mein Herr cried exultingly. "They pay us: 



xi] THE MAN IN THE MOON. 167 

we don't pay them ! I've often got as much 
as five shillings for sending a parcel." 

" But doesn't your Government object ? " 

"Well, they do object, a little. They say 
it comes so expensive, in the long run. But 
the thing's as clear as daylight, by their own 
rules. If I send a parcel, that weighs a 
pound more than nothing, I pay three-pence : 
so, of course, if it weighs a pound less than 
nothing, I ought to receive three-pence." 

"It is indeed a useful article ! " I said. 

" Yet even ' Imponderal ' has its disadvan- 
tages," he resumed. " I bought some, a few 
days ago, and put it into my hat, to carry it 
home, and the hat simply floated away ! " 

" Had oo some of that funny stuff in oor hat 
today?" Bruno enquired. " Sylvie and me 
saw oo in the road, and oor hat were ever so 
high up ! Weren't it, Sylvie ? " 

" No, that was quite another thing," said 
Mein Herr. " There was a drop or two of 
rain falling : so I put my hat on the top of 

my stick as an umbrella, you know. As I 

came along the road," he continued, turning 
to me, " I was overtaken by " 



168 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 



a shower of rain ? " said Bruno. 



" Well, it looked more like the tail of a dog," 
Mein Herr replied. " It was the most curious 
thing ! Something rubbed affectionately against 
my knee. And I looked down. And I could 
see nothing ! Only, about a yard off, there was 
a dog's tail, wagging, all by itself! " 

"Oh, Sylvie /" Bruno murmured reproach- 
fully. " Oo didn't finish making him visible ! " 

"I'm so sorry!" Sylvie said, looking very 
penitent. " I meant to rub it along his back, 
but we were in such a hurry. We'll go and 
finish him tomorrow. Poor thing ! Perhaps 
he'll get no supper tonight ! " 

" Course he won't ! " said Bruno. " Nobody 
never gives bones to a dog's tail ! " 

Mein Herr looked from one to the other in 
blank astonishment. " I do not understand 
you," he said. " I had lost my way, and I was 
consulting a pocket-map, and somehow I had 
dropped one of my gloves, and this invisible 
Something, that had rubbed against my knee, 
actually brought it back to me ! " 

" Course he did ! " said Bruno. " He's 
welly fond of fetching things." 



xi] THE MAN IN THE MOON. 169 

Mein Herr looked so thoroughly bewildered 
that I thought it best to change the subject. 
" What a useful thing a pocket-map is ! " I 
remarked. 

" That's another thing we've learned from 

your Nation," said Mein Herr, " map-making. 

But we've carried it much further than you. 

What do you consider the largest map that 

would be really useful ? " 

" About six inches to the mile. ' 

" Only six inches ! " exclaimed Mein Herr. 
" We very soon got to six yards to the mile. 
Then we tried a hundred yards to the mile. 
And then came the grandest idea of all ! We 
actually made a map of the country, on the 
scale of a mile to the mile ! ' ' 

" Have you used it much ? " I enquired. 

"It has never been spread out, yet," said 
Mein Herr : " the farmers objected : they said 
it would cover the whole country, and shut out 
the sunlight ! So we now use the country it- 
self, as its own map, and I assure you it does 
nearly as well. Now let me ask you another 
question. What is the smallest world you 
would care to inhabit ? " 



170 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

"/ know!" cried Bruno, who was listening 
intently. " I'd like a little teeny-tiny world, 
just big enough for Sylvie and me ! " 

" Then you would have to stand on opposite 
sides of it," said Mein Herr. " And so you 
would never see your sister at all /" 

"And I'd have no lessons" said Bruno. 

" You don't mean to say you've been trying 
experiments in that direction ! " I said. 

" Well, not experiments exactly. We do not 
profess to construct planets. But a scientific 
friend of mine, who has made several balloon- 
voyages, assures me he has visited a planet so 
small that he could walk right round it in 
twenty minutes ! There had been a great 
battle, just before his visit, which had ended 
rather oddly : the vanquished army ran away 
at full speed, and in a very few minutes found 
themselves face-to-face with the victorious 
army, who were marching home again, and 
who were so frightened at finding themselves 
between two armies, that they surrendered at 
once ! Of course that lost them the battle, 
though, as a matter of fact, they had killed all 
the soldiers on the other side." 



xi] THE MAN IN THE MOON. 171 

" Killed soldiers cdrit run away," Bruno 
thoughtfully remarked. 

" ' Killed ' is a technical word," replied Mein 
Herr. "In the little planet I speak of, the 
bullets were made of soft black stuff, which 
marked everything it touched. So, after a 
battle, all you had to do was to count how 
many soldiers on each side were ' killed '- 
that means ' marked on the back? for marks in 
front didn't count." 

" Then you couldn't ' kill ' any, unless they 
ran away ? " I said. 

" My scientific friend found out a better 
plan than that. He pointed out that, if only 
the bullets were sent the other way round the 
world, they would hit the enemy in the back. 
After that, the worst marksmen were consid- 
ered the best soldiers ; and the very worst of 
all always got First Prize." 

"And how did you decide which was the 
very worst of all ? " 

" Easily. The best possible shooting is, you 
know, to hit what is exactly in front of you : 
so of course the worst possible is to hit what 
is exactly behind you." 



172 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" They were strange people in that little 
planet !" I said. 

" They were indeed ! Perhaps their method 
of government was the strangest of all. In 
this planet, I am told, a Nation consists of a 
number of Subjects, and one King : but, in 
the little planet I speak of, it consisted of a 
number of Kings, and one Subject ! " 

" You say you are ' told ' what happens in 
this planet," I said. "May I venture to guess 
that you yourself are a visitor from some other 
planet ? " 

Bruno clapped his hands in his excitement. 
" Is oo the Man-in-the-Moon ?" he cried. 

Mein Herr looked uneasy. " I am not in 
the Moon, my child," he said evasively. " To 
return to what I was saying. I think that 
method of government ought to answer well. 
You see, the Kings would be sure to make 
Laws contradicting each other : so the Subject 
could never be punished, because, whatever he 
did, he'd be obeying some Law." 

" And, whatever he did, he'd be ^obeying 
some Law ! " cried Bruno. " So he'd always 
be punished ! " 



xi] THE MAN IN THE MOON. 173 

Lady Muriel was passing at the moment, and 
caught the last word. " Nobody's going to 
be punished here ! " she said, taking Bruno 
in her arms. " This is Liberty-Hall ! Would 
you lend me the children for a minute ? " 

" The children desert us, you see," I said to 
Mein Herr, as she carried them off: " so we 
old folk must keep each other company ! " 

The old man sighed. " Ah, well ! We're old 
folk now ; and yet I was a child myself, once 
at least I fancy so.' 

It did seem a rather unlikely fancy, I could 

not help owning to myself looking at the 

shaggy white hair, and the long beard that 

he could ever have been a child. " You are 
fond of young people ? " I said. 

" Young men" he replied. " Not of children 

exactly. I used to teach young men many 

a year ago in my dear old University ! " 

" I didn't quite catch its name ? " I hinted. 

" I did not name it," the old man replied 
mildly. " Nor would you know the name if I 
did. Strange tales I could tell you of all the 
changes I have witnessed there ! But it would 
weary you, I fear." 



174 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" No, indeed! " I said. " Pray go on. What 
kind of changes ? " 

But the old man seemed to be more in a 
humour for questions than for answers. " Tell 
me," he said, laying his hand impressively on 
my arm, " tell me something. For I am a 
stranger in your land, and I know little of yoiir 
modes of education : yet something tells me 
we are further on than you in the eternal cycle 

of change and that many a theory we have 

tried and found to fail, you also will try, with 
a wilder enthusiasm : you also will find to fail, 
with a bitterer despair ! " 

It was strange to see how, as he talked, and 
his words flowed more and more freely, with a 
certain rhythmic eloquence, his features seemed 
to glow with an inner light, and the whole man 
seemed to be transformed, as if he had grown 
fifty years younger in a moment of time. 



CHAPTER XII. 

FAIRY-MUSIC. 

THE silence that ensued was broken by the 
voice of the musical young lady, who had seated 
herself near us, and was conversing- with one of 
the newly-arrived guests. " Well ! " she said in 
a tone of scornful surprise. " We are to have 
something new in the way of music, it appears ! " 

I looked round for an explanation, and was 
nearly as much astonished as the speaker her- 
self : it was Sylvie whom Lady Muriel was 
leading to the piano ! 

"Do try it, my darling!" she was saying. 
"I'm sure you can play very nicely ! " 



176 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Sylvie looked round at me, with tears in her 
eyes. I tried to give her an encouraging 
smile, but it was evidently a great strain on the 
nerves of a child so wholly unused to be made 
an exhibition of, and she was frightened and 
unhappy. Yet here came out the perfect sweet- 
ness of her disposition : I could see that she 
was resolved to forget herself, and do her best 
to give pleasure to Lady Muriel and her friends. 
She seated herself at the instrument, and began 
instantly. Time and expression, so far as one 
could judge, were perfect : but her touch was 
one of such extraordinary lightness that it was 
at first scarcely possible, through the hum of 
conversation which still continued, to catch a 
note of what she was playing. 

But in a minute the hum had died away into 
absolute silence, and we all sat, entranced and 
breathless, to listen to such heavenly music as 
none then present could ever forget. 

Hardly touching the notes at first, she played 

a sort of introduction in a minor key like an 

embodied twilight ; one felt as though the lights 
were growing dim, and a mist were creeping 
through the room. Then there flashed through 



Xii] FAIRY-MUSIC. 177 

the gathering gloom the first few notes of a 
melody so lovely, so delicate, that one held 
one's breath, fearful to lose a single note of it. 
Ever and again the music dropped into the 
pathetic minor key with which it had begun, 
and, each time that the melody forced its way, 
so to speak, through the enshrouding gloom 
into the light of day, it was more entrancing, 
more magically sweet. Under the airy touch 
of the child, the instrument actually seemed 
to warble, like a bird. " Rise up, my love, my 
fair one" it seemed to sing, " and come away ! 
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and 
gone ; the flowers appear on the earth ; the time 
of the singing of birds is come ! " One could 
fancy one heard the tinkle of the last few 
drops, shaken from the trees by a passing 

gust that one saw the first glittering rays 

of the sun, breaking through the clouds. 

The Count hurried across the room in great 
excitement. " I cannot remember myself," he 
exclaimed, " of the name of this so charming 
an air ! It is of an opera, most surely. Yet 
not even will the opera remind his name to 
me ! What you call him, dear child ? " 

N 



178 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




Sylvie looked round at him with a rapt ex- 
pression of face. She had ceased playing, but 
her fingers still wandered fitfully over the keys. 
All fear and shyness had quite passed away 
now, and nothing remained but the pure joy 
of the music that had thrilled our hearts. 

" The title of it ! " the Count repeated im- 
patiently. " How call you the opera ? " 

" I don't know what an opera -is," Sylvie 
half- whispered. 



xn] FAIRY-MUSIC. 179 

" How, then, call you the air ? " 

" I don't know any name for it," Sylvie 
replied, as she rose from the instrument. 

" But this is marvellous ! " exclaimed the 
Count, following the child, and addressing 
himself to me, as if I were the proprietor of 
this musical prodigy, and so must know the 
origin of her music. "You have heard her 

play this, sooner -I would say ' before this 

occasion ' ? How call you the air ? " 

I shook my head ; but was saved from more 
questions by Lady Muriel, who came up to 
petition the Count for a song. 

The Count spread out his hands apologeti- 
cally, and ducked his head. " But, Milady, I 
have already respected 1 would say pro- 
spected all your songs ; and there shall be 

none fitted to my voice ! They are not for 
basso voices ! " 

" Wo'n't you look at them again ? " Lady 
Muriel implored. 

" Let's help him ! " Bruno whispered to 
Sylvie. " Let's get him you know ! " 

Sylvie nodded. " Shall we look for a song 
for you ? " she said sweetly to the Count. 

N 7. 



i8o SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

"Mais oui I " the little man exclaimed. 

" Of course we may ! " said Bruno, while, 
each taking a hand of the delighted Count, 
they led him to the music-stand. 

" There is still hope ! " said Lady Muriel 
over her shoulder, as she followed them. 

I turned to ' Mein Herr,' hoping to resume 
our interrupted conversation. " You were re- 
marking I began : but at this moment 
Sylvie came to call Bruno, who had returned 
to my side, looking unusually serious. " Do 
come, Bruno ! " she entreated. " You know r 
we've nearly found it ! " Then, in a whisper, 
" The locket's in my hand, now. I couldn't 
get it out while they were looking ! " 

But Bruno drew back. " The man called 
me names," he said with dignity. 

" What names ? " I enquired with some 
curiosity. 

"I asked him," said Bruno, "which sort of 
song he liked. And he said ' A song of a 
man, not of a lady.' And I said ' Shall Syl- 
vie and me find you the song of Mister Tot- 
ties ?' And he said 'Wait, eel!' And I'm 
not an eel, oo know ! " 



xn] FAIRY-MUSIC. 181 

" I'm sure he didn't mean it ! " Sylvie said 

earnestly. "It's something French you 

know he can't talk English so well as 

Bruno relented visibly. " Course he knows 
no better, if he's Flench ! Flenchmen never 
can speak English so goodly as us ! " And 
Sylvie led him away, a willing captive. 

" Nice children ! " said the old man, taking 
off his spectacles and rubbing them carefully. 
Then he put them on again, and watched with 
an approving smile, while the children tossed 
over the heap of music, and we just caught 
Sylvie's reproving words, " We're not making 
hay, Bruno ! " 

"This has been a long interruption to our 
conversation," I said. " Pray let us go on ! " 

" Willingly ! " replied the gentle old man. 
" I was much interested in what you 
He paused a moment, and passed his hand 
uneasily across his brow. " One forgets," he 
murmured. " W T hat was I saying ? Oh ! Some- 
thing you were to tell me. Yes. Which of 
your teachers do you value the most highly, 
those whose words are easily understood, or 
those who puzzle you at every turn ? " 



182 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

I felt obliged to admit that we generally 
admired most the teachers we couldn't quite 
understand. 

" Just so," said Mein Herr. " That's the 
way it begins. Well, we were at that stage 

some eighty years ago or was it ninety ? Our 

favourite teacher got more obscure every year ; 

and every year we admired him more just 

as your Art-fanciers call mist the fairest feature 
in a landscape, and admire a view with frantic 
delight when they can see nothing! Now I'll 
tell you how it ended. It was Moral Philosophy 
that our idol lectured on. Well, his pupils 
couldn't make head or tail of it, but they got 
it all by heart ; and, when Examination-time 
came, they wrote it down ; and the Examiners 
said ' Beautiful ! What depth ! ' " 

"But what good was it to the young men 
afterwards ? " 

" Why, don't you see ? " replied Mein Herr. 
" They became teachers in their turn, and they 
said all these things over again ; and their 
pupils wrote it all down ; and the Examiners 
accepted it ; and nobody had the ghost of an 
idea what it all meant ! " 



xii] FAIRY-MUSIC. 183 

"And how did it end?" 

"It ended this way. We woke up one fine 
day, and found there was no one in the place 
that knew anything about Moral Philosophy. 
So we abolished it, teachers, classes, examiners, 
and all. And if any one wanted to learn any- 
thing about it, he had to make it out for 
himself; and after another twenty years or so 
there were several men that really knew some- 
thing about it ! Now tell me another thing. 
How long do you teach a youth before you 
examine him, in your Universities ? " 

I told him, three or four years. 

" Just so, just what we did ! " he exclaimed. 
" We taught 'em a bit, and, just as they were 
beginning to take it in, we took it all out again ! 
We pumped our wells dry before they were a 

quarter full we stripped our orchards while 

the apples were still in blossom we applied 

the severe logic of arithmetic to our chickens, 
while peacefully slumbering in their shells ! 
Doubtless it's the early bird that picks up the 

worm but if the bird gets up so outrageously 

early that the worm is still deep underground, 
what then is its chance of a breakfast ? " 



184 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Not much, I admitted. 

" Now see how that works ! " he went on 
eagerly. "If you want to pump your wells 

so soon and I suppose you tell me that is 

what you must do ? " 

" We must," I said. " In an over-crowded 
country like this, nothing but Competitive 
Examinations 

Mein Herr threw up his hands wildly. 
"What, again ?" he cried. " I thought it was 
dead, fifty years ago ! Oh this Upas-tree of 
Competitive Examinations ! Beneath whose 
deadly shade all the original genius, all the 
exhaustive research, all the untiring life-long 
diligence by which our fore-fathers have so 
advanced human knowledge, must slowly but 
surely wither away, and give place to a sys- 
tem of Cookery, in which the human mind is 
a sausage, and all we ask is, how much indigest- 
ible stuff can be crammed into it ! " 

Always, after these bursts of eloquence, he 
seemed to forget himself for a moment, and 
only to hold on to the thread of thought by 
some single word. " Yes, crammed," he re- 
peated. "We went through all that stage of 



XII] FAIRY-MUSIC. 185 

the disease had it bad, I warrant you ! Of 

course, as the Examination was all in all, we 

tried to put in just what was wanted and the 

great thing to aim at was, that the Candidate 
should know absolutely nothing beyond the 
needs of the Examination ! I don't say it was 
ever quite achieved : but one of my own pupils 
(pardon an old man's egotism) came very near 
it. After the Examination, he mentioned to 
me the few facts which he knew but had not 
been able to bring in, and I can assure you 
they were trivial, Sir, absolutely trivial ! " 

I feebly expressed my surprise and delight. 

The old man bowed, with a gratified smile, 
and proceeded. " At that time, no one had 
hit on the much more rational plan of watch- 
ing for the individual scintillations of genius, 
and rewarding them as they occurred. As it 
was, we made our unfortunate pupil into a 

Leyden-jar, charged him up to the eyelids 

then applied the knob of a Competitive Ex- 
amination, and drew off one magnificent spark, 
which very often cracked the jar ! What 
mattered that ? We labeled it ' First Class 
Spark,' and put it away on the shelf." 



186 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED 

" But the more rational system - ? " I 
suggested. 

"Ah, yes! that came next. Instead of 
giving the whole reward of learning in one 
lump, we used to pay for every good answer as 
it occurred. How well I remember lecturing 
in those days, with a heap of small coins at my 
elbow! It was 'A very good answer, Mr. 
Jones ! ' (that meant a shilling, mostly). ' Bravo, 
Mr. Robinson ! ' (that meant half-a-crown). 
Now I'll tell you how that worked. Not one 
single fact would any of them take in, without 
a fee ! And when a clever boy came up from 
school, he got paid more for learning than we 
got paid for teaching him ! Then came the 
wildest craze of all." 

" What, another craze ? " I said. 

"It's the last one," said the old man. " I 
must have tired you out with my long story. 
Each College wanted to get the clever boys : 
so we adopted a system which we had heard 
was very popular in England : the Colleges 
competed against each other, and the boys 
let themselves out to the highest bidder ! 
What geese we were ! Why, they were bound 



xil] FAIRY-MUSIC. 187 

to come to the University somehow. We 
needn't have paid 'em ! And all our money 
went in getting clever boys to come to one 
College rather than another ! The competition 
was so keen, that at last mere money-payments 
were not enough. Any College, that wished 
to secure some specially clever young man, 
had to waylay him at the Station, and hunt 
him through the streets. The first who 
touched him was allowed to have him." 

" That hunting-down of the scholars, as they 
arrived, must have been a curious business," 
I said. " Could you give me some idea of 
what it was like ? " 

" Willingly ! " said the old man. " I will 
describe to you the very last Hunt that took 
place, before that form of Sport (for it was 
actually reckoned among the Sports of the 
day: we called it 'Cub-Hunting') was finally 
abandoned. 1 witnessed it myself, as I hap- 
pened to be passing by at the moment, and 
was what we called ' in at the death.' I can 
see it now ! " he went on in an excited tone, 
gazing into vacancy with those large dreamy 
eyes of his. "It seems like yesterday ; and 



1 88 



SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 



yet it happened He checked himself 

hastily, and the remaining words died away 
into a whisper. 




"How many years ago did you say?" I 
asked, much interested in the prospect of at 
last learning some definite fact in his history. 

" Many years ago," he replied. " The scene 
at the Railway-Station had been (so they told 
me) one of wild excitement. Eight or nine 
Heads of Colleges had assembled at the gates 
(no one was allowed inside), and the Station- 
Master had drawn a line on the pavement, 
and insisted on their all standing behind it. 



XII] 



FAIRY-MUSIC. 



189 




The gates were flung open ! The young man 
darted through them, and fled like lightning 
down the street, while the Heads of Colleges 
actually yelled with excitement on catching 
sight of him ! The Proctor gave the word, 
in the old statutory form, ' Seme I ! Bis ! Ter ! 
Currite!\ and the Hunt began! Oh, it was 
a fine sight, believe me ! At the first corner 
he dropped his Greek Lexicon : further on, 
his railway-rug : then various small articles : 



I 9 o SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

then his umbrella : lastly, what I suppose he 
prized most, his hand-bag : but the game was 
up : the spherical Principal of - of 

"Of which College?" I said. 

of one of the Colleges," he resumed, 

"had put into operation the Theory his own 

discovery of Accelerated Velocity, and cap- 
tured him just opposite to where I stood. I 
shall never forget that wild breathless struggle ! 
But it was soon over. Once in those great 
bony hands, escape was impossible ! " 

" May I ask why you speak of him as the 
' spherical' Principal?" I said. 

" The epithet referred to his shape, which 
was a perfect sphere. You are aware that 
a bullet, another instance of a perfect sphere, 
when falling in a perfectly straight line, moves 
with Accelerated Velocity ? " 

I bowed assent. 

" Well, my spherical friend (as I am proud 
to call him) set himself to investigate the 
causes of this. He found them to be three. 
One ; that it is a perfect sphere. Two ; that 
it moves in a straight line. Three ; that its 
direction is not upwards. When these three 



xn] FAIRY-MUSIC. 191 

conditions are fulfilled, you get Accelerated 
Velocity." 

" Hardly," I said : "' if you will excuse my 
differing from you. Suppose we apply the 
theory to horizontal motion. If a bullet is 
fired horizontally, it 

- it does not move in a straight line" 
he quietly finished my sentence for me. 

" I yield the point," I said. " What did 
your friend do next ? " 

" The next thing was to apply the theory, 
as you rightly suggest, to horizontal motion. 
But the moving body, ever tending to fall, 
needs constant support, if it is to move in a 
true horizontal line. ' What, then/ he asked 
himself, ' will give constant support to a mov- 
ing body ? ' And his answer was ' Human 
legs ! ' That was the discovery that immor- 
talised his name ! " 

" His name being ? " I suggested. 

" I had not mentioned it," was the gentle 
reply of my most unsatisfactory informant. 
" His next step was an obvious one. He 
took to a diet of suet-dumplings, until his 
body had become a perfect sphere. Then 



192 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

he went out for his first experimental run 
which nearly cost him his life ! " 
" How was 



" Well, you see, he had no idea of the tre- 
mendoiis new Force in Nature that he was 
calling into play. He began too fast. In a 
very few minutes he found himself moving at 
a hundred miles an hour ! And, if he had 
not had the presence of mind to charge into 
the middle of a haystack (which he scattered 
to the four winds) there can be no doubt that 
he would have left the Planet he belonged to, 
and gone right away into Space ! " 

" And how came that to be the last of the 
Cub- Hunts?" I enquired. 

" Well, you see, it led to a rather scandal- 
ous dispute between two of the Colleges. 
Another Principal had laid his hand on the 
young man, so nearly at the same moment 
as the spherical one, that there was no know- 
ing which had touched him first. The dispute 
got into print, and did us no credit, and, in 
short, Cub- Hunts came to an end. Now I'll 
tell you what cured us of that wild craze of 
ours, the bidding against each other, for the 



xil] FAIRY-MUSIC. 193 

clever scholars, just as if they were articles 
to be sold by auction ! Just when the craze 
had reached its highest point, and when one 
of the Colleges had actually advertised a 
Scholarship of one thousand pounds per 
annum, one of our tourists brought us the 

manuscript of an old African legend 1 

happen to have a copy of it in my pocket. 
Shall I translate it for you ? " 

" Pray go on," I said, though I felt I was 
getting very sleepy. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

WHAT TOTTLES MEANT. 

MEIN Herr unrolled the manuscript, but, to 
my great surprise, instead of reading it, he 
began to sing it, in a rich mellow voice that 
seemed to ring through the room. 

" One thousand pounds per annuum 

Is not so bad a figure, come ! " 

Cried Tattles. "And I tell you, flat, 

A man may marry well on that ! 

To say ' the Husband needs the Wife ' 

Is not the way to represent it. 

The crowning joy of Woman s life 

Is Man ! " said J^ottles (and he meant it}. 



xin] WHAT TOTTLES MEANT. 195 

The blissful Honey-moon is past : 
The Pair have settled down at last : 

Mamma-in-laiv their home zvill share, 

And make their happiness her care. 

" Your income is an ample one ; 

Go if, my children!" (And they went if). 

"I rayther think this kind of fun 

Wont last!" said Tottles (and lie meant if). 



They took a little country-box- 



A box at Covent Garden also: 

They lived a life of double-knocks, 

Acquaintances began to call so ; 

Their London house zvas much the same 

(It took three hundred, clear, to rent if): 

" Life is a very jolly game ! " 

Cried happy Tottles (and he meant if). 



' Contented with a frugal lot ' 
(He always used that phrase at Gunters), 
He bought a handy little yacht 
A dozen serviceable Jmnters 
The fishing of a Highland Loch 
A sailing-boat to circumvent it 
" The sounding- of that Gaelic ' och ' 
Beats me ! " said Tottles (and he meant if)." 

O 2 



196 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Here, with one of those convulsive starts 
that wake one up in the very act of dropping 
off to sleep, I became conscious that the deep 
musical tones that thrilled me did not belong 
to Mein Herr, but to the French Count. The 
old man was still conning the manuscript. 

" I beg your pardon for keeping you wait- 
ing!" he said. " I was just making sure that 
I knew the English for all the words. I am 
quite ready now." And he read me the fol- 
lowing Legend : 

" In a city that stands in the very centre 
of Africa, and is rarely visited by the casual 
tourist, the people had always bought eggs 
a daily necessary in a climate where egg-flip 

was the usual diet from a Merchant who 

came to their gates once a week. And the 
people always bid wildly against each other : 
so there was quite a lively auction every time 
the Merchant came, and the last egg in his 
basket used to fetch the value of two or three 
camels, or thereabouts. And eggs got dearer 
every week. And still they drank their egg- 
flip, and wondered where all their money 
went to. 



XIII] 



WHAT TOTTLES MEANT 



197 




" And there came a day when they put their 
heads together. And they understood what 
donkeys they had been. 

"And next day, when the Merchant came, 
only one Man went forth. And he said ' Oh, 
thou of the hook-nose and the goggle-eyes, 
thou of the measureless beard, how much for 
that lot of eggs ? ' 



198 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" And the Merchant answered him ' I could 
let thee have that lot at ten thousand piastres 
the dozen.' 

"And the Man chuckled inwardly, and said 
' Ten piastres the dozen I offer thee, and no 
more, oh descendant of a distinguished grand- 
father ! ' 

"And the Merchant stroked his beard, and 
said ' Hum ! I will await the coming of thy 
friends.' So he waited. And the Man waited 
with him. And they waited both together." 

" The manuscript breaks off here," said 
Mein Herr, as he rolled it up again; "but 
it was enough to open our eyes. We saw 

what simpletons we had been buying our 

Scholars much as those ignorant savages 

bought their eggs and the ruinous system 

was abandoned. If only we could have aban- 
doned, along with it, all the other fashions we 
had borrowed from you, instead of carrying 
them to their logical results ! But it was not 
to be. What ruined my country, and drove 
me from my home, was the introduction 

into the Army, of all places of your theory 

of Political Dichotomy ! " 



xin] WHAT TOTTLES MEANT, 199 

"Shall I trouble you too much," I said, "if 
I ask you to explain what you mean by ' the 
Theory of Political Dichotomy ' ? " 

" No trouble at all ! " was Mein Herr's most 
courteous reply. " I quite enjoy talking, when 
I get so good a listener. What started the 
thing, with us, was the report brought to us, 
by one of our most eminent statesmen, who 
had stayed some time in England, of the way 
affairs were managed there. It was a political 
necessity (so he assured us, and we believed 
him, though we had never discovered it till 
that moment) that there should be two Parties, 
in every affair and on every subject. In 
Politics, the two Parties, which you had found 
it necessary to institute, were called, he told 
us, ' Whigs ' and ' Tories '." 

" That must have been some time ago ? " 
I remarked. 

" It was some time ago," he admitted. 
"And this was the way the affairs of the 
British Nation were managed. (You will 
correct me if I misrepresent it. I do but 
repeat what our traveler told us.) These 
two Parties which were in chronic hostility 



200 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

to each other took turns in conducting the 

Government ; and the Party, that happened 
not to be in power, was called the ' Opposition', 
I believe ? " 

" That is the right name," I said. " There 
have always been, so long as we have had a 
Parliament at all, two Parties, one ' in ', and 
one 'out'." 

"Well, the function of the 'Ins' (if I may 
so call them) was to do the best they could 

for the national welfare in such things as 

making war or peace, commercial treaties, and 
so forth ? " 

(( Undoubtedly," I said. 

"And the function of the 'Outs' was (so 
our traveller assured us, though we were very 
incredulous at first) to prevent the ' Ins ' from 
succeeding in any of these things ? " 

" To criticize and to amend their proceed- 
ings," I corrected him. "It would be un- 
patriotic to hinder the Government in doing 
what was for the good of the Nation ! We 
have always held a Patriot to be the greatest 
of heroes, and an unpatriotic spirit to be one 
of the worst of human ills ! " 



xni] WHAT TOTTLES MEANT. 201 

"Excuse me for a moment," the old gentle- 
man courteously replied, taking out his pocket- 
book. " I have a few memoranda here, of a 
correspondence I had with our tourist, and, 
if you will allow me, I'll just refresh my mem- 
ory although I quite agree with you it 

is, as you say, one of the worst of human 
ills And, here Mein Herr began singing 

again : 

But oh, the worst of human ills 
(Poor Tottles found} are ' little bills ' ! 
And, with no balance in the Bank, 
What wonder that his spirits sank? 
Still, as the money flozved away, 
He wondered how on earth she spent it, 
" You cost me tiventy pounds a day, 
At least ! " cried Tottles (and he meant it]. 



Slie sighed. " TJwse Draiving Rooms, you know! 
I really never thought about it : 
Mamma declared we ought to go 
We should be Nobodies without it. 
That diamond-circlet for my brow 



/ quite believed that she had sent it, 
Until tJie Bill came in just noiv 
"Viper!" cried Tottles (and Jie meant it}. 



202 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Poor Mrs, T. could bear no more, 

But fainted flat upon the floor. 

Mamma-in-laiv, with anguish wild, 

Seeks, all in vain, to rouse her child. 

" Quick ! Take this box of smelling-salts ! 

Dont scold her, James, or you'll repent it, 

She's a dear girl, with all her fait Its 

" She is ! " groaned Tattles (and he meant it]. 

" I was a donkey" Tottles cried, 

" To choose your daughter for my bride ! 

' Twas you that bid us cut a dash ! 

' Tis you have brougJtt us to this smash ! 

You don't suggest one single thing 

That can in any ivay prevent it - 

Then whafs the use of arguing? 

Shut up ! " cried Tottles (and he meant it}. 

Once more I started into wakefulness, and 
realised that Mein Herr was not the singer. 
He was still consulting his memoranda. 

" It is exactly what my friend told me," he 
resumed, after conning over various papers. 
"'Unpatriotic' is the very word I had used, 
in writing to him, and ''hinder' is the very 
word he used in his reply ! Allow me to read 
you a portion of his letter : 



xin] WHAT TOTTLES MEANT. 203 

"'/ can assure you' he writes, 'that, un- 
patriotic as yoit may think it, the recognised 
function of the ' Opposition ' is to hinder, in 
every manner not forbidden by the Law, the 
action of the Government. This process is 
called ' Legitimate Obstruction ' : and the great- 
est triumph the ' Opposition ' can ever enjoy, 
is when they are able to point out that, owing 
to their ' Obstruction ', the Government have 
failed in everything they have tried to do for 
the good of the Nation ! ' 

" Your friend has not put it quite correctly," 
I said. "The Opposition would no doubt be 
glad to point out that the Government had 
failed through their own fault ; but not that 
they had failed on account of Obstruction ! " 

" You think so ?" he gently replied. " Allow 
me now to read to you this newspaper-cutting, 
which my friend enclosed in his letter. It is 
part of the report of a public speech, made 
by a Statesman who was at the time a mem- 
ber of the ' Opposition ' : 

" ' At the close of the Session, he thought 
they had no reason to be discontented with the 



204 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

fortunes of the campaign. They had routed 
the enemy at every point. But the pursuit 
must be continued. They had only to follow 
up a disordered and dispirited foe. ' ' 

" Now to what portion of your national 
history would you guess that the speaker 
was referring ? " 

" Really, the number of successful wars we 
have waged during the last century," I replied, 
with a glow of British pride, " is far too great 
for me to guess, with any chance of success, 
which it was we were then engaged in. How- 
ever, I will name ' India ' as the most prob- 
able. The Mutiny was no doubt, all but 
crushed, at the time that speech was made. 
What a fine, manly, patriotic speech it must 
have been ! " I exclaimed in an outburst 
of enthusiasm. 

" You think so ? " he replied, in a tone of 
gentle pity. " Yet my friend tells me that 
the ' disordered and dispirited foe ' simply 
meant the Statesmen who happened to be in 
power at the moment ; that the 'pursuit ' 
simply meant ' Obstruction ' ; and that the 



xin] WHAT TOTTLES MEANT. 205 

words ' they had routed the enemy ' simply 
meant that the ' Opposition ' had succeeded in 
hindering the Government from doing any of 
the work which the Nation had empowered 
them to do!" 

I thought it best to say nothing. 

" It seemed queer to MS, just at first," he 
resumed, after courteously waiting a minute 
for me to speak : " but, when once we had mas- 
tered the idea, our respect for your Nation 
was so great that we carried it into every 
department of life ! It was ' the beginning of 
the end" with us. My country never held up 
its head again ! " And the poor old gentleman 
sighed deeply. 

" Let us change the subject," I said. " Do 
not distress yourself, I beg ! " 

" No, no ! " he said, with an effort to recover 
himself. " I had rather finish my story ! The 
next step (after reducing our Government to 
impotence, and putting a stop to all useful 
legislation, which did not take us long to do) 
was to introduce what we called ' the glorious 
British Principle of Dichotomy ' into Agricul- 
ture, We persuaded many of the well-to-do 



206 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

farmers to divide their staff of labourers into 
two Parties, and to set them one against the 
other. They were called, like our political 
Parties, the 'Ins' and the 'Outs' : the business 
of the 'Ins' was to do as much of ploughing, 
sowing, or whatever might be needed, as they 
could manage in a day, and at night they were 
paid according to the amount they had done : 
the business of the ' Outs ' was to hinder them, 
and they were paid for the amount they had 
hindered. The farmers found they had to pay 
only half as much wages as they did before, 
and they didn't observe that the amount of 
work done was only a quarter as much as was 
done before: so they took it up quite enthu- 
siastically, at first" 

" And afterwards - ? " I enquired. 

"Well, afterwards they didn't like it quite 
so well. In a very short time, things settled 
down into a regular routine. No work at all 
was done. So the ' Ins ' got no wages, and 
the ' Outs ' got full pay. And the farmers 
never discovered, till most of them were 
ruined, that the rascals had agreed to manage 
it so, and had shared the pay between them ! 



xin] WHAT TOTTLES MEANT. 207 

While the thing lasted, there were funny sights 
to be seen ! Why, I've often watched a 
ploughman, with two horses harnessed to the 
plough, doing his best to get it forwards; while 
the opposition-ploughman, with three donkeys 
harnessed at the other end, was doing his best 
to get it backwards ! And the plough never 
moving an inch, either way ! " 

" But we never did anything like that!" I 
exclaimed. 

" Simply because you were less logical than 
we were," replied Mein Herr ".There is 

sometimes an advantage in being a donk 

Excuse me ! No personal allusion intended. 
All this happened long ago, you know ! " 

" Did the Dichotomy-Principle succeed in 
any direction ? " I enquired. 

" In none," Mein Herr candidly confessed. 
" It had a very short trial in Commerce. The 
shop-keepers wouldn't take it up, after once 
trying the plan of having half the attendants 
busy in folding up and carrying away the 
goods which the other half were trying to 
spread out upon the counters. They said the 
Public didn't like it ! " 



208 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" I don't wonder at it," I remarked. 

" Well, we tried ' the British Principle ' for 

some years. And the end of it all was " 

His voice suddenly dropped, almost to a 
whisper ; and large tears began to roll down 
his cheeks. " the end was that we got in- 
volved in a war ; and there was a great battle, 
in which we far out-numbered the enemy. 
But what could one expect, when only half of 
our soldiers were fighting, and the other half 
pulling them back ? It ended in a crushing 
defeat an utter rout. This caused a Revolu- 
tion ; and most of the Government were 
banished. I myself was accused of Treason, 
for having so strongly advocated ' the British 
Principle.' My property was all forfeited, 

and and 1 was driven into exile! ' Now 

the mischief's done,' they said, ' perhaps you'll 
kindly leave the country ? ' It nearly broke 
my heart, but I had to go ! " 

The melancholy tone became a wail : the 
wail became a chant : the chant became a 

song though whether it was Mein Herr that 

was singing, this time, or somebody else, I 
could not feel certain. 



xin] WHAT TOTTLES MEANT. 209 

"And, now the mischiefs done, perhaps 
You'll kindly go and pack your traps ? 
Since two (your daughter and your son} 
Are Company, but three are none. 
A course of saving we'll begin : 
When change is needed, I'll invent it: 
Don't think to put your finger in 
This pie ! " cried Tattles (and he meant if). 

The music seemed to die away. Mein Herr 
was again speaking in his ordinary voice. 
" Now tell me one thing more," he said. " Am 
I right in thinking that in your Universities, 
though a man may reside some thirty or forty 
years, you examine him, once for all, at the 
end of the first three or four ? " 

" That is so, undoubtedly," I admitted. 

" Practically, then, you examine a man at the 
beginning of his career ! " the old man said 
to himself rather than to me. " And what 
guarantee have you that he retains the know- 
ledge for which you have rewarded him 
beforehand, as we should say ? " 

" None," I admitted, feeling a little puzzled 
at the drift of his remarks. <( How do you 
secure that object ? " 

p 



210 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" By examining him at the end of his thirty 

or forty years not at the beginning," he 

gently replied. " On an average, the know- 
ledge then found is about one-fifth of what 

it was at first the process of forgetting 

going on at a very steady uniform rate and 

he, who forgets least, gets most honour, and 
most rewards." 

" Then you give him the money when he 
needs it no longer ? And you make him live 
most of his life on nothing ! " 

" Hardly that. He gives his orders to the 
tradesmen : they supply him, for forty, some- 
times fifty, years, at their own risk : then he 

gets his Fellowship which pays him in one 

year as much as your Fellowships pay in fifty 

and then he can easily pay all his bills, 
with interest." 

" But suppose he fails to get his Fellowship ? 
That must occasionally happen." 

" That occasionally happens." It was Mein 
Herr's turn, now, to make admissions. 

" And what becomes of the tradesmen ?" 

" They calculate accordingly. When a man 
appears to be getting alarmingly ignorant, or 



xill] WHAT TOTTLES MEANT. 211 

stupid, they will sometimes refuse to supply 
him any longer. You have no idea with what 
enthusiasm a man will begin to rub up his 
forgotten sciences or languages, when his 
butcher has cut off the supply of beef and 
mutton ! " 

" And who are the Examiners ? " 

" The young men who have just come, 
brimming over with knowledge. You would 
think it a curious sight," he went on, " to 
see mere boys examining such old men. I 
have known a man set to examine his own 
grandfather. It was a little painful for both 
of them, no doubt. The old gentleman was 
as bald as a coot 

" How bald would that be?" I've no idea 
why I asked this question. I felt I was getting 
foolish. 



CHAPTER XIV 

BRUNO'S PICNIC. 

" As bald as bald," was the bewildering 
reply. " Now, Bruno, I'll tell you a story." 

"And I'll tell oo a story," said Bruno, begin- 
ning in a great hurry for fear of Sylvie getting 
the start of him : " once there were a Mouse 

a little tiny Mouse such a tiny little Mouse ! 

Oo never saw such a tiny Mouse 

" Did nothing ever happen to it, Bruno ? " I 
asked. " Haven't you anything more to tell 
us, besides its being so tiny ? " 

" Nothing never happened to it," Bruno 
solemnly replied. 



xiv] BRUNO'S PICNIC. 213 

" Why did nothing never happen to it ? " said 
Sylvie, who was sitting, with her head on 
Bruno's shoulder, patiently waiting for a chance 
of beginning her story. 

" It were too tiny," Bruno explained. 

''That's no reason!" I said. "However 
tiny it was, things might happen to it." 

Bruno looked pityingly at me, as if he thought 
me very stupid. "It were too tiny," he repeated. 
" If anything happened to it, it would die- 
it were so very tiny ! " 

" Really that's enough about its being tiny ! " 
Sylvie put in. " Haven't you invented any more 
about it ? " 

" Haven't invented no more yet." 

" Well then, you shouldn't begin a story till 
you've invented more ! Now be quiet, there's 
a good boy, and listen to my story." 

And Bruno, having quite exhausted all his 
inventive faculty, by beginning in too great 
a hurry, quietly resigned himself to listening. 
" Tell about the other Bruno, please," he said 
coaxingly. 

Sylvie put her arms round his neck, and 
began : 



214 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" The wind was whispering among the trees," 
("That wasn't good manners!" Bruno in- 
terrupted. " Never mind about manners/'' said 

Sylvie) " and it was evening a nice moony 

evening, and the Owls were hooting 

" Pretend they weren't Owls! " Bruno pleaded, 
stroking her cheek with his fat little hand. " I 
don't like Owls. Owls have such great big eyes. 
Pretend they were Chickens ! " 

" Are you afraid of their great big eyes, 
Bruno ? " I said. 

" Aren't 'fraidot nothing," Bruno answered in 
as careless a tone as he could manage : " they're 
ugly with their great big eyes. I think if they 

cried, the tears would be as big oh, as big as 

the moon ! " And he laughed merrily. " Doos 
Owls cry ever, Mister Sir ? " 

" Owls cry never," I said gravely, trying to 
copy Bruno's way of speaking : " they've got 
nothing to be sorry for, you know." 

" Oh, but they have ! " Bruno exclaimed. 
"They're ever so sorry, 'cause they killed the 
poor little Mouses ! " 

" But they're not sorry when they're hungry, 
I suppose ? " 



xiv] BRUNO'S PICNIC. 215 

" Oo don't know nothing about Owls!" Bruno 
scornfully remarked. " When they're hungry, 
they're very, very sorry they killed the little 
Mouses, 'cause if they hadrtt killed them there'd 
be sumfin for supper, oo know ! " 

Bruno was evidently getting into a danger- 
ously inventive state of mind, so Sylvie broke in 
with " Now I'm going on with the story. So 
the Owls the Chickens, I mean were look- 
ing to see if they could find a nice fat Mouse 
for their supper 

" Pretend it was a nice 'abbit ! " said Bruno. 

" But it wasrit a nice habit, to kill Mouses," 
Sylvie argued. " I can't pretend that /" 

" I didn't say ' habit] oo silly fellow ! " Bruno 
replied with a merry twinkle in his eye. " Bab- 
bits that runs about in the fields ! " 

" Rabbit ? Well it can be a Rabbit, if you like. 
But you mustn't alter my story so much, Bruno. 
A Chicken couldnt eat a Rabbit ! " 

" But it might have wished to see if it could 
try to eat it." 

" Well, it wished to see if it could try oh, 

really, Bruno, that's nonsense ! I shall go back 
to the Owls." 



216 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Well then, pretend they hadn't great eyes ! " 

" And they saw a little Boy," Sylvie went 
on, disdaining to make any further corrections. 
" And he asked them to tell him a story. And 
the Owls hooted and flew away (" Oo 
shouldn't say ' flewed ;' oo should say ' flied? ' 
Bruno whispered. But Sylvie wouldn't hear.) 
" And he met a Lion. And he asked the Lion 
to tell him a story. And the Lion said ' yes/ 
it would. And, while the Lion was telling him 
the story, it nibbled some of his head off 

" Don't say ' nibbled ' ! " Bruno entreated. 

" Only little things nibble little thin sharp 

things, with edges 

" Well then, it ' nubbled,' " said Sylvie. " And 
when it had nubbled alt his head off, he went 
away, and he never said ' thank you ' ! " 

" That were very rude," said Bruno. " If he 

couldn't speak, he might have nodded no, 

he couldn't nod. Well, he might have shaked 
hands with the Lion ! " 

<( Oh, I'd forgotten that part!" said Sylvie. 
" He did shake hands with it. He came back 
again, you know, and he thanked the Lion very 
much, for telling him the story." 



xiv] BRUNO'S PICNIC. 217 

" Then his head had growed up again ? " said 
Bruno. 

" Oh yes, it grew up in a minute. And the 
Lion begged pardon, and said it wouldn't nubble 
off little boys' heads not never no more ! " 

Bruno looked much pleased at this change of 
events. "Now that are a really nice story!" 
he said. " Arerit it a nice story, Mister Sir ? " 

"Very," I said. " I would like to hear an- 
other story about that Boy." 

" So would /," said Brunp, stroking Sylvie's 
cheek again. "Please tell about Bruno's Pic- 
nic ; and don't talk about nubbly Lions ! " 

" I won't, if it frightens you," said Sylvie. 

" Flightens me ! " Bruno exclaimed indig- 
nantly. "It isn't that \ -It's 'cause ' nubbly ' 's 
such a grumbly word to say when one per- 
son 's got her head on another person's shoul- 
der. When she talks like that," he explained 
to me, "the talking goes down bofe sides of 

my face all the way to my chin and it 

doos tickle so ! It's enough to make a beard 
grow, that it is ! " 

He said this with great severity, but it was 
evidently meant for a joke : so Sylvie laughed 



2i8 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

a delicious musical little laugh, and laid her 
soft cheek on the top of her brother's curly 
head, as if it were a pillow, while she went on 
with the story. " So this Boy - 

" But it wasn't me, oo know ! " Bruno inter- 
rupted. "And oo needn't try to look as if 
it was, Mister Sir ! " 

I represented, respectfully, that I was trying 
to look as if it wasn't. 

" he was a middling good Boy " 

"He were a welly good Boy ! " Bruno cor- 
rected her. "And he never did nothing he 
wasn't told to do " 

" That doesn't make a good Boy ! " Sylvie 
said contemptuously. 

" That do make a good Boy ! " Bruno in- 
sisted. 

Sylvie gave up the point. " Well, he was 
a very good Boy, and he always kept his pro- 
mises, and he had a big cupboard 

- for to keep all his promises in ! " cried 
Bruno. 

" If he kept all his promises," Sylvie said, 
with a mischievous look in her eyes, " he wasn't 
like some Boys I know of! " 



xiv] BRUNO'S PICNIC. 219 

" He had to put salt with them, a-course," 
Bruno said gravely : " oo ca'n't keep promises 
when there isn't any salt. And he kept his 
birthday on the second shelf." 

" How long did he keep his birthday ? " I 
asked. <: I never can keep mine more than 
twenty-four hours." 

" Why, a birthday stays that long by itself! " 
cried Bruno. "Oo doosn't know how to keep 
birthdays ! This Boy kept his a whole year ! " 

" And then the next birthday would begin," 
said Sylvie. " So it would be his birthday 
always" 

"So it were," said Bruno. " Doos oo have 
treats on oor birthday, Mister Sir ? " 

" Sometimes," I said. 

"When oo're ^wdf, I suppose ?" 

" Why, it is a sort of treat, being good, isn't 
it ? " I said. 

"A sort of treat-!" Bruno repeated. " It's 
a sort of punishment, I think ! " 

" Oh, Bruno ! " Sylvie interrupted, almost 
sadly. "How can you ? " 

" Well, but it is" Bruno persisted. " Why. 
look here, Mister Sir! This is being good!" 



220 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

And he sat bolt upright, and put on an 
absurdly solemn face. " First oo must sit up 
as straight as pokers 

- as a poker," Sylvie corrected him. 

- as straight as pokers" Bruno firmly 
repeated. " Then oo must clasp oor hands 

so. Then ' Why hasn't oo brushed oor 

hair ? Go and brush it toreckly ! ' Then 

' Oh, Bruno, oo mustn't dog's-ear the daisies ! ' 
Did oo learn oor spelling wiz daisies, Mister 
Sir ? " 

" I want to hear about that Boy's Birthday'' 
I said. 

Bruno returned to the story instantly. 
" Well, so this Boy said 'Now it's my Birth- 
day ! ' And so I'm tired ! " he suddenly broke 

off, laying his head in Sylvie's lap. " Sylvie 
knows it best. Sylvie's grown-upper than me. 
Go on, Sylvie ! " 

Sylvie patiently took up. the thread of the 
story again. "So he said ' Now it's my 
Birthday. Whatever shall I do to keep my 
Birthday ? All good little Boys " (Sylvie 
turned away from Bruno, and made a great pre- 
tence of whispering to me] " all good little 



xiv] BRUNO'S PICNIC. 221 

Boys Boys that learn their lessons quite 
perfect - they always keep their birthdays, 
you know. So of course this little Boy kept 
his Birthday." 

" Oo may call him Bruno, if oo like," the 
little fellow carelessly remarked. " It weren't 
me, but it makes it more interesting." 

" So Bruno said to himself ' The properest 
thing to do is to have a Picnic, all by myself, 
on the top of the hill. And I'll take some 
Milk, and some Bread, and some Apples : and 
first and foremost, I want some Milk T So, 
first and foremost, Bruno took a milk-pail 

" And he went and milkted the Cow ! " 
Bruno put in. 

" Yes," said Sylvie, meekly accepting the 
new verb. " And the Cow said ' Moo ! What 
are you going to do with all that Milk ? ' And 
Bruno said ' Please'm, I want it for my Picnic.' 
And the Cow said ' Moo ! But I hope you 
wo'n't boil any of it ? ' And Bruno said ' No, 
indeed I won't! New Milk's so nice and so 
warm, it wants no boiling ! ' : 

" It doesn't want no boiling," Bruno offered 
as an amended version. 



222 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" So Bruno put the Milk in a bottle. And 
then Bruno said 'Now I want some Bread!' 
So he went to the Oven, and he took out a 
delicious new Loaf. And the Oven 

" ever so light and so puffy!" Bruno 

impatiently corrected her " Oo shouldn't 
leave out so many words ! " 

Sylvie humbly apologised. " a delicious 

new Loaf, ever so light and so puffy. And 
the Oven said Here Sylvie made a long 

pause. " Really I don't know what an Oven 
begins with, when it wants to speak ! " 

Both children looked appealingly at me ; but 
I could only say, helplessly, " I haven't the 
least idea ! / never heard an Oven speak ! " 

For a minute or two we all sat silent ; and 
then Bruno said, very softly, " Oven begins 
wiz ' O '." 

" Good little boy ! " Sylvie exclaimed. " He 
does his spelling very nicely. Hes cleverer 
than he knows ! " she added, aside, to me. 
" So the Oven said ' O ! What are you going 
to do with all that Bread ? ' And Bruno said 
' Please Is an Oven ' Sir ' or ' 'm,' would 
you say ? " She looked to me for a reply. 



Xiv] BRUNO'S PICNIC. 223 

" Both, I think," seemed to me the safest 
thing to say. 

Sylvie adopted the suggestion instantly. 
" So Bruno said ' Please, Sirm, I want it for 
my Picnic.' And the Oven said 'O! But I 
hope you wo'n't toast any of it ? ' And Bruno 
said ' No, indeed I wo'n't ! New Bread's so 
light and so puffy, it wants no toasting ! ' 

" It never doesn't want no toasting," said 
Bruno. " I wiss oo wouldn't say it so short! " 

" So Bruno put the Bread in the hamper. 
Then Bruno said ' Now I want some Apples ! ' 
So he took the hamper, and he went to the 
Apple-Tree, and he picked some lovely ripe 
Apples. And the Apple-Tree said"- Here 

followed another long pause. 

Bruno adopted his favourite expedient of 
tapping his forehead ; while Sylvie gazed 
earnestly upwards, as if she hoped for some 
suggestion from the birds, who were singing 
merrily among the branches overhead. But 
no result followed. 

" What does an Apple-tree begin with, when 
it wants to speak ? " Sylvie murmured despair- 
ingly, to the irresponsive birds. 



224 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

At last, taking a leaf out of Bruno's book, 
I ventured on a remark. " Doesn't ' Apple- 
tree' always begin with 'Eh!'?" 

"Why, of course it does! How clever of 
you ! " Sylvie cried delightedly. 

Bruno jumped up, and patted me on the 
head. I tried not to feel conceited. 

"So the Apple-Tree said 'Eh! What are 
you going to do with all those Apples ? ' And 
Bruno said ' Please, Sir, I want them for 
my Picnic.' And the Apple-Tree said ' Eh ! 
But I hope you wo'n't bake any of them ? ' 
And Bruno said ' No, indeed I wo'n't ! Ripe 
Apples are so nice and so sweet, they want 
no baking ! ' ' 

" They never doesn't Bruno was be- 
ginning, but Sylvie corrected herself before 
he could get the words out. 

" ' They never doesn't nohow want no 
baking.' So Bruno put the Apples in the 
hamper, along with the Bread, and the bottle 
of Milk. And he set off to have a Picnic, 
on the top of the hill, all by himself 

" He wasn't greedy, oo know, to have it all 
by himself," Bruno said, patting me on the 



xiv] BRUNO'S PICNIC. 225 

cheek to call my attention ; " 'cause he hadn't 
got no brothers and sisters." 

"It was very sad to have no sisters, wasn't 
it ? " I said. 

"Well, I don't know," Bruno said thought- 
fully ; " 'cause he hadn't no lessons to do. So 
he didn't mind." 

Sylvie went on. "So, as he was walking 
along the road, he heard behind him such a 

curious sort of noise a sort of a Thump ! 

Thump ! Thump ! ' Whatever is that ? ' said 
Bruno. ' Oh, I know ! ' said Bruno. ' Why, 
it's only my Watch a-ticking ! ' ' 

"Were it his Watch a-ticking?" Bruno 
asked me, with eyes that fairly sparkled with 
mischievous delight. 

" No doubt of it ! " I replied. And Bruno 
laughed exultingly. 

"Then Bruno thought a little harder. And 
he said 'No! It cant be my Watch a-tick- 
ing ; because I haven't got a Watch ! ' : 

Bruno peered up anxiously into my face, 
to see how I took it. I hung my head, and 
put a thumb into my mouth, to the evident 
delight of the little fellow. 

o 



226 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED 

" So Bruno went a little further along the 
road. And then he heard it again, that queer 

noise Thump ! Thump ! Thump ! ' What 

ever is that ? ' said Bruno. ' Oh, I know ! ' 
said Bruno. ' Why, it's only the Carpenter 
a-mending my Wheelbarrow ! ' 

" Were it the Carterpenter a-mending his 
Wheelbarrow ? " Bruno asked me. 

I brightened up, and said "It must have 
been ! " in a tone of absolute conviction. 

Bruno threw his arms round Sylvie's neck. 
" Sylvie ! " he said, in a perfectly audible 
whisper. "He says it must have been!" 

" Then Bruno thought a little harder. And 
he said ' No ! It cant be the Carpenter 
amending my Wheelbarrow, because I haven't 
got a Wheelbarrow ! ' 

This time I hid my face in my hands, quite 
unable to meet Bruno's look of triumph. 

" So Bruno went a little further along the 
road. And then he heard that queer noise 

again Thump ! Thump ! Thump ! So he 

thought he'd look round, this time, just to see 
what it was. And what should it be but a 
great Lion ! " 



xiv] BRUNO'S PICNIC. 227 

"A great big Lion," Bruno corrected her. 

"A great big Lion. And Bruno was ever 
so frightened, and he ran 

"No, he wasn't flight ened a bit ! " Bruno 
interrupted. (He was evidently anxious for 
the reputation of his namesake.) " He runned 
away to get a good look at the Lion ; 'cause 
he wanted to see if it were the same Lion 
what used to nubble little Boys' heads off; and 
he wanted to know how big it was ! " 

" Well, he ran away, to get a good look at 
the* Lion. And the Lion trotted slowly after 
him. And the Lion called after him, in a very 
gentle voice, ' Little Boy, little Boy ! You 
needn't be afraid of me! I'm a very gentle 
old Lion now. I never nubble little Boys' 
heads off, as I used to do.' And so Bruno 
said ' Don't you really, Sir ? Then what do 
you live on ? ' And the Lion 

" Oo see he weren't a bit flightened ! " 
Bruno said to me, patting my cheek again. 
" 'cause he remembered to call it ' Sir,' oo 
know." 

I said that no doubt that was the real test 
whether a person was frightened or not. 

Q 2 



228 SYLV1E AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" And the Lion said ' Oh, I live on bread- 
and-butter, and cherries, and marmalade, and 
plum-cake 

" and apples ! " Bruno put in. 

" Yes, 'and apples.' And Bruno said 'Won't 
you come with me to my Picnic ? ' And the 
Lion said ' Oh, I should like it very much in- 
deed / ' And Bruno and the Lion went away 
together." Sylvie stopped suddenly. 

" Is that all?" I asked, despondingly. 

" Not quite all," Sylvie slily replied. " There's 
a sentence or two more. Isn't there, Bruno ? " 

" Yes," with a carelessness that was evi- 
dently put on : "just a sentence or two more." 

" And, as they were walking along, they 
looked over a hedge, and who should they see 
but a little black Lamb ! And the Lamb was 
ever so frightened. And it ran " 

" It were really flightened !" Bruno put in. 

" It ran away. And Bruno ran after it. And 
he called ' Little Lamb ! You needn't be afraid 
of this Lion! It never kills things! It lives 
on cherries, and marmalade ' 

" and apples f " said Bruno. " Oo 

always forgets the apples ! " 



xiv] BRUNO'S PICNIC. 229 

" And Bruno said ' Wo'n't you come with 
us to my Picnic ? ' And the Lamb said ' Oh, 
I should like it very much indeed, if my Ma 
will let me ! ' And Bruno said ' Let's go and 
ask your Ma ! ' And they went to the old 
Sheep. And Bruno said ' Please, may your 
little Lamb come to my Picnic ? ' And the 
Sheep said ' Yes, if it's learnt all its lessons.' 
And the Lamb said ' Oh yes, Ma ! I've learnt 
all my lessons ! ' ' 

" Pretend it hadn't any lessons ! " Bruno 
earnestly pleaded. 

" Oh, that would never do ! " said Sylvie. 
" I ca'n't leave out all about the lessons ! And 
the old Sheep said ' Do you know your ABC 
yet ? Have you learnt A ? ' And the Lamb 
said ' Oh yes, Ma ! I went to the A-field, and 
I helped them to make A ! ' ' Very good, my 
child! And have you learnt B?' 'Oh yes, 
Ma ! I went to the B-hive, and the B gave me 
some honey ! ' ' Very good, my child ! And 
have you learnt C ? ' ' Oh yes, Ma ! I went 
to the C-side, and I saw the ships sailing on 
the C ! ' ' Very good, my child ! You may go 
to Bruno's Picnic.' 



230 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




" So they set off. And Bruno walked in the 
middle, so that the Lamb mightn't see the 
Lion 

"It were fliglitened" Bruno explained. 

" Yes, and it trembled so ; and it got paler 
and paler ; and, before they'd got to the top 

of the hill, it was a 'white little JLamb as 

white as snow ! " 



Xiv] BRUNO'S PICNIC. 231 

" But Bruno weren't flightened ! " said the 
owner of that name. ''So he staid black ! " 

" No, he didn't stay black ! He staid pink ! " 
laughed Sylvie. " I shouldn't kiss you like this, 
you know, if you were black ! " 

" Oo'd have to ! " Bruno said with great de- 
cision. " Besides, Bruno wasn't Bruno, oo 

know 1 mean, Bruno wasn't me 1 mean 

don't talk nonsense, Sylvie ! " 

"I won't do it again!" Sylvie said very 
humbly. " And so, as they went along, the 
Lion said * Oh, I'll tell you what I used to do 
when I was a young Lion. I used to hide be- 
hind trees, to watch for little Boys.' " (Bruno 
cuddled a little closer to her.) " ' And, if a 
little thin scraggy Boy came by, why, I used 
to let him go. But, if a little fat juicy 

Bruno could bear no more. " Pretend he 
wasn't juicy ! " he pleaded, half-sobbing. 

" Nonsense, Bruno ! " Sylvie briskly replied. 

"It'll be done in a moment! ' if a little 

fat juicy Boy came by, why, I used to spring 
out and gobble him up ! Oh, you've no idea 

what a delicious thing it is a little juicy 

Boy ! ' And Bruno said ' Oh, if you please, 



232 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Sir, dorit talk about eating little boys ! It 
makes me so shivery! ' 

The real Bruno shivered, in sympathy with 
the hero. 

" And the Lion said ' Oh, well, we won't talk 
about it, then ! I'll tell you what happened on 
my wedding-day 

" I like this part better," said Bruno, patting 
my cheek to keep me awake. 

" ' There was, oh, such a lovely wedding- 
breakfast ! At one end of the table there was 
a large plum -pudding. And at the other end 
there was a nice roasted Lamb ! Oh, you've 

no idea what a delicious thing it is a nice 

roasted Lamb ! ' And the Lamb said ' Oh, 
if you please, Sir, dorit talk about eating 
Lambs ! 1 1 makes me so shivery ! ' And the 
Lion said ' Oh, well, we won't talk about it, 
then ! ' " 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE LITTLE FOXES. 

"So, when they got to the top of the hill, 
Bruno opened the hamper : and he took out 
the Bread, and the Apples, and the Milk : 
and they ate, and they drank. And when 
they'd finished the Milk, and eaten half the 
Bread and half the Apples, the Lamb said 
' Oh, my paws is so sticky ! I want to wash 
my paws ! ' And the Lion said ' Well, go 
down the hill, and wash them in the brook, 
yonder. We'll wait for you ! ' ' 

"It never corned back!" Bruno solemnly 
whispered to me. . 



234 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

But Sylvie overheard him. " You're not to 
whisper, Bruno! It spoils the story! And 
when the Lamb had been gone a long time, 
the Lion said to Bruno ' Do go and see after 
that silly little Lamb ! It must have lost its 
way.' And Bruno went down the hill. And 
when he got to the brook, he saw the Lamb 
sitting on the bank : and who should be sitting 
by it but an old Fox ! " 

" Don't know who should be sitting by it," 
Bruno said thoughtfully to himself. " A old 
Fox were sitting by it." 

" And the old Fox were saying," Sylvie went 
on, for once conceding the grammatical point, 
" ' Yes, my dear, you'll be ever so happy with 
us, if you'll only come and see us ! I've got 
three little Foxes there, and we do love little 
Lambs so dearly ! ' And the Lamb said ' But 
you never eat them, do you, Sir ? ' And the 
Fox said ' Oh, no ! What, eat a Lamb ? We 
never dream of doing such a thing ! ' So the 
Lamb said ' Then I'll come with you.' And 
off they went, hand in hand." 

" That Fox were welly extremely wicked, 
wererit it ? " said Bruno. 



xv] THE LITTLE FOXES. 235 

" No, no ! " said Sylvie, rather shocked at 
such violent language. "It wasn't quite so 
bad as that!" 

"Well, I mean, it wasn't nice," the little 
fellow corrected himself. 

"And so Bruno went back to the Lion. 
' Oh, come quick ! ' he said. ' The Fox has 
taken the Lamb to his house with him ! I'm 
sure he means to eat it ! ' And the Lion said 
' I'll come as quick as ever I can!' And they 
trotted down the hill." 

" Do oo think he caught the Fox, Mister 
Sir ? " said Bruno. I shook my head, not 
liking to speak : and Sylvie went on. 

"And when they got to the house, Bruno 
looked in at the window. And there he saw 
the three little Foxes sitting round the table, 
with their clean pinafores on, and spoons in 
their hands 

" Spoons in their hands ! " Bruno repeated 
in an ecstasy of delight. 

" And the Fox had got a great big knife 

all ready to kill the poor little Lamb " 

("Oo needn't be flightened, Mister Sir!" 
Bruno put in, in a hasty whisper.) 



236 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




xv] THE LITTLE FOXES. 237 

"And just as he was going to do it, Bruno 
heard a great ROAR (The real Bruno 

put his hand into mine, and held tight), "and 
the Lion came bang through the door, and 
the next moment it had bitten off the old 
Fox's head ! And Bruno jumped in at the 
window, and went leaping round the room, and 
crying out ' Hooray ! Hooray ! The old Fox 
is dead ! The old Fox is dead ! ' ' 

Bruno got up in some excitement. " May I 
do it now ? " he enquired. 

Sylvie was quite decided on this point. 
" Wait till afterwards," she said. " The speeches 
come next, don't you know ? You always love 
the speeches, dorit you ? " 

" Yes, I doos," said Bruno : and sat down 
again. 

" The Lion's speech. ' Now, you silly little 
Lamb, go home to your mother, and never 
listen to old Foxes again. And be very good 
and obedient.' 

"The Lamb's speech. 'Oh, indeed, Sir, I 
will, Sir!' and the Lamb went away." (" But 
oo needn't go away!" Bruno explained. " It's 
quite the nicest part what's coming now ! " 



238 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Sylvie smiled. She liked having an appreci- 
ative audience.) 

" The Lion's speech to Bruno. ' Now, 
Bruno, take those little Foxes home with 
you, and teach them to be good obedient 
little Foxes ! Not like that wicked old thing 
there, that's got no head ! " (" That hasn't 
got no head," Bruno repeated.) 

" Bruno's speech to the Lion. Oh, indeed, 
Sir, I will, Sir!' And the Lion went away." 
(" It gets betterer and betterer, now," Bruno 
whispered to me, " right away to the end ! ") 

" Bruno's speech to the little Foxes. ' Now, 
little Foxes, you're going to have your first 
lesson in being good. I'm going to put you 
into the hamper, along with the Apples and the 
Bread : and you're not to eat the Apples : and 
you're not to eat the Bread : and you're not to 

eat anything till we get to my house : and 

then you'll have your supper.' 

" The little Foxes' speech to Bruno. The 
little Foxes said nothing. 

" So Bruno put the Apples into the hamper 

and the little Foxes and the Bread 

("They had picnicked all the Milk," Bruno 



xv] THE LITTLE FOXES. 239 

explained in a whisper) " and he set off 

to go to his house." ("We're getting near 
the end now," said Bruno.) 

" And, when he had got a little way, he 
thought he would look into the hamper, and 
see how the little Foxes were getting on." 

" So he opened the door " said Bruno. 

"Oh, Bruno!" Sylvie exclaimed, " yoiire 
not telling the story ! So he opened the door, 
and behold, there were no Apples ! So Bruno 
said ' Eldest little Fox, have you been eating 
the Apples ? ' And the eldest little Fox said 
' No no no! 1 ' (It is impossible to give the 
tone in which Sylvie repeated this rapid little 
' No no no ! ' The nearest I can come to it 
is to say that it was much as if a young and 
excited duck had tried to quack the words. 
It was too quick for a quack, and yet too harsh 
to be anything else.) " Then he said ' Second 
little Fox, have you been eating the Apples ? ' 
And the second little Fox said ' No no no ! ' 
Then he said ' Youngest little Fox, have you 
been eating the Apples ? ' And the youngest 
little Fox tried to say ' No no no ! ' but its 
mouth was so full, it couldn't, and it only 



240 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

said ' Wauch ! Wauch ! Wauch ! ' And Bruno 
looked into its mouth. And its mouth was 
full of Apples ! And Bruno shook his head, 
and he said ' Oh dear, oh dear ! What bad 
creatures these Foxes are ! ' 

Bruno was listening intently : and, when 
Sylvie paused to take breath, he could only 
just gasp out the words " About the Bread ? " 

"Yes," said Sylvie, ''the Bread comes next. 
So he shut the door again ; and he went a 
little further ; and then he thought he'd just 
peep in once more. And behold, there was no 
Bread!" ("What do 'behold' mean?" said 
Bruno. "Hush!" said Sylvie.) "And he said 
' Eldest little Fox, have you been eating the 
Bread ? ' And the eldest little Fox said ' No 
no no ! ' ' Second little Fox, have you been 
eating the Bread ? ' And the second little Fox 
only said ' Wauch ! Wauch ! Wauch ! ' And 
Bruno looked into its mouth, and its mouth 
was full of Bread!" (" It might have chokeded 
it," said Bruno.) " So he said ' Oh dear, oh 
dear ! What shall I do with these Foxes ? ' 
And he went a little further." (" Now comes 
the most interesting part," Bruno whispered.) 



xv] THE LITTLE FOXES. 241 

" And when Bruno opened the hamper again, 
what do you think he saw ? " (" Only two 
Foxes ! " Bruno cried in a great hurry.) " You 
shouldn't tell it so quick. However, he did 
see only two Foxes. And he said ' Eldest 
little Fox, have you been eating the youngest 
little Fox ? ' And the eldest little Fox said 
'No no no!' 'Second little Fox, have you 
been eating the youngest little Fox ? ' And 
the second little Fox did its very best to say 
'No no no!' but it could only say 'Weuchk! 
Weuchk ! Weuchk ! ' And when Bruno looked 
into its mouth, it was half full of Bread, and 
half full of Fox ! " (Bruno said nothing in the 
pause this time. He was beginning to pant a 
little, as he knew the crisis was coming.) 

" And when he'd got nearly home, he looked 
once more into the hamper, and he saw 

" Only " Bruno began, but a generous 

thought struck him, and he looked at me. " Oo 
may say it, this time, Mister Sir ! " he whis- 
pered. It was a noble offer, but I wouldn't 
rob him of the treat. "Go on, Bruno," I said, 

"you say it much the best." " Only but 

one Fox ! " Bruno said with great solemnity. 

R 



242 



SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




" ' Eldest little Fox,' " Sylvie said, dropping 
the narrative-form in her eagerness. " ' you've 
been so good that I can hardly believe youve 
been disobedient : but I'm afraid you've been 
eating your little sister ? ' And the eldest little 
Fox said ' Whihuauch ! Whihuauch ! ' and then 
it choked. And Bruno looked into its mouth, 
and it was full ! " (Sylvie paused to take 
breath, and Bruno lay back among the daisies, 



xv] THE LITTLE FOXES. 243 

and looked at me triumphantly. " Isn't it 
grand, Mister Sir ? " said he. I tried hard to 
assume a critical tone. " It's grand," I said : 
"but it frightens one so!" "Oo may sit a 
little closer to me, if oo like," said Bruno.) 

" And so Bruno went home : and took the 
hamper into the kitchen, and opened it. And 

he saw " Sylvie looked at me, this time, as 

if she thought I had been rather neglected and 
ought to be allowed one guess, at any rate. 

" He ca'n't guess ! " Bruno cried eagerly. 

" I 'fraid I must tell him! There weren't 

nuffin in the hamper ! " I shivered in terror, 
and Bruno clapped his hands with delight. 
" He is flightened, Sylvie ! Tell the rest ! " 

" So Bruno said ' Eldest little Fox, have you 
been eating yoiirself, you wicked little Fox ? ' 
And the eldest little Fox said ' Whihuauch ! ' 
And then Bruno saw there was only its moutk 
in the hamper ! So he took the mouth, and he 
opened it, and shook, and shook ! And at last 
he shook the little Fox out of its own mouth ! 
And then he said ' Open your mouth again, 
you wicked little thing ! ' And he shook, and 
shook ! And he shook out the second little 

R 2 



244 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Fox ! And he said ' Now open your mouth ! ' 
And he shook, and shook ! And he shook out 
the youngest little Fox, and all the Apples, and 
all the Bread ! 

"And then Bruno stood the little Foxes up 
against the wall : and he made .them a little 
speech. ' Now, little Foxes, you've begun very 

wickedly and you'll have to be punished. 

First you'll go up to the nursery, and wash 
your faces, and put on clean pinafores. Then 
you'll hear the bell ring for supper. Then you'll 
come down : and you wont have any supper : 
but you'll have a good whipping ! Then you'll 
go to bed. Then in the morning you'll hear 
the bell ring for breakfast. But you wont have 
any breakfast ! You'll have a good whipping ! 
Then you'll have your lessons. And, perhaps, 
if you're very good, when dinner-time comes, 
you'll have a little dinner, and no more 
whipping ! ' : (" How very kind he was ! " I 
whispered to Bruno. "Middling kind," Bruno 
corrected me gravely.) 

" So the little Foxes ran up to the nursery. 
And soon Bruno went into the hall, and rang 
the big bell. ' Tingle, tingle, tingle ! Supper, 



xv] THE LITTLE FOXES. 245 

supper, supper ! ' Down came the little Foxes, 
in such a hurry for their supper ! Clean pina- 
fores ! Spoons in their hands ! And, when they 
got into the dining-room, there was ever such 
a white table-cloth on the table ! But there was 
nothing on it but a big whip. And they had 
such a whipping !" (I put my handkerchief to 
my eyes, and Bruno hastily climbed upon my 
knee and stroked my face. " Only one more 
whipping, Mister Sir ! " he whispered. " Don't 
cry more than oo ca'n't help ! ") 

"And the next morning early, Bruno rang 
the big bell again. ' Tingle, tingle, tingle ! 
Breakfast, breakfast, breakfast ! ' Down came 
the little Foxes ! Clean pinafores ! Spoons in 
their hands ! No breakfast ! Only the big 
whip ! Then came lessons," Sylvie hurried on, 
for I still had my handkerchief to my eyes. 
" And the little Foxes were ever so good ! 
And they learned their lessons backwards, 
and forwards, and upside-down. And at last 
Bruno rang the big bell again. ' Tingle, tingle, 
tingle ! Dinner, dinner, dinner ! ' And when 

the little Foxes came down "(" Had they 

clean pinafores on ? " Bruno enquired. " Of 



246 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

course ! " said Sylvie. " And spoons ? " '' Why, 
you know they had !" " Couldn't be certain" 

said Bruno.) " they came as slow as slow ! 

And they said ' Oh ! There'll be no dinner ! 
There'll only be the big whip ! ' But, when 
they got into the room, they saw the most 
lovely dinner !" ("Buns?" cried Bruno, clap- 
ping his hands.) " Buns, and cake, and 

("and jam ? " said Bruno.) " Yes, jam 

and soup and " (" and sugar plums /" 

Bruno put in once more ; and Sylvie seemed 
satisfied.) 

" And ever after that, they were such good 
little Foxes ! They did their lessons as good 

as gold and they never did what Bruno told 

them not to and they never ate each other 

any more and they never ate themselves ! " 

The story came to an end so suddenly, 
it almost took my breath away ; however I did 
my best to make a pretty speech of thanks. 

"I'm sure it's very very very much so, 

I'm sure!" I seemed to hear myself say. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

BEYOND THESE VOICES. 

" I DIDN'T quite catch what you said ! " were 
the next words that reached my ear, but cer- 
tainly not in the voice either of Sylvie or of 
Bruno, whom I could just see, through the 
crowd of guests, standing by the piano, and 
listening to the Count's song. Mein Herr was 
the speaker. " I didn't quite catch what you 
said!" he repeated. " But I've no doubt you 
take my view of it. Thank you very much for 
your kind attention. There is only but one 
verse left to be sung ! " These last words were 
not in the gentle voice of Mein Herr, but in 



248 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

the deep bass of the French Count. And, in 
the silence that followed, the final stanza of 
' Tottles ' rang through the room. 




See now this couple settled down 
In quiet lodgings, out of town : 
Submissively the tearful ivife 
Accepts a plain and J tumble life : 
Yet begs one boon on bended knee : 
' My ducky -darling, don't resent it ! 

Mamma might come for two or three ' 

1 NE VER ! ' yelled Tottles. A nd he meant it. 



xvi] BEYOND THESE VOICES. 249 

The conclusion of the song was followed by 
quite a chorus of thanks and compliments from 
all parts of the room, which the gratified singer 
responded to by bowing low in all directions. 
" It is to me a great privilege," he said to Lady 
Muriel, " to have met with this so marvellous a 
song. The accompaniment to him is so strange, 
so mysterious : it is as if a new music were to 
be invented ! I will play him once again so as 
that to show you what I mean." He returned 
to the piano, but the song had vanished. 

The bewildered singer searched through the 
heap of music lying on an adjoining table, but 
it was not there, either. Lady Muriel helped 
in the search : others soon joined : the excite- 
ment grew. " What can have become of it ? " 
exclaimed Lady Muriel. Nobody knew : one 
thing only was certain, that no one had been 
near the piano since the Count had sung the 
last verse of the song. 

" Nevare mind him ! " he said, most good- 
naturedly. " I shall give it you with memory 
alone ! " He sat down, and began vaguely fing- 
ering the notes ; but nothing resembling the 
tune came out. Then he, too, grew excited. 



250 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" But what oddness ! How much of singularity ! 
That I might lose, not the words alone, but the 
tune also that is quite curious, I suppose ? " 

We all supposed it, heartily. 

" It was that sweet little boy, who found it 
for me," the Count suggested. " Quite perhaps 
he is the thief ? " 

"Of course he is!" cried Lady Muriel. 
" Bruno ! Where are you, my darling ? " 

But no Bruno replied : it seemed that the 
two children had vanished as suddenly, and as 
mysteriously, as the song. 

" They are playing us a trick ! " Lady Muriel 
gaily exclaimed. " This is only an ex tempore 
game of Hide-and-Seek ! That little Bruno is 
an embodied Mischief!" 

The suggestion was a welcome one to most 
of us, for some of the guests were beginning 
to look decidedly uneasy. A general search was 
set on foot with much enthusiasm : curtains were 
thrown back and shaken, cupboards opened, and 
ottomans turned over ; but the number of pos- 
sible hiding-places proved to be strictly limited ; 
and the search came to an end almost as soon 
as it had begun. 



xvi] ' BEYOND THESE VOICES. 251 

" They must have run out, while we were 
wrapped up in the song," Lady Muriel said, 
addressing herself to the Count, who seemed 
more agitated than the others ; "and no doubt 
they've found their way back to the house- 
keeper's room." 

" Not by this door ! " was the earnest protest 
of a knot of two or three gentlemen, who had 
been grouped round the door (one of them 
actually leaning against it) for the last half- 
hour, as they declared. " This door has not 
been opened since the song began ! " 

An uncomfortable silence followed this an- 
nouncement. Lady Muriel ventured no further 
conjectures, but quietly examined the fastenings 
of the windows, which opened as doors. They 
all proved to be well fastened, inside. 

Not yet at the end of her resources, Lady 
Muriel rang the bell. "Ask the housekeeper 
to step here," she said, "and to bring the 
children's walking-things with her." 

"I've brought them, my Lady," said the 
obsequious housekeeper, entering after another 
minute of silence. " I thought the young 
lady would have come to my room to put on 



252 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

her boots. Here's your boots, my love ! " she 
added cheerfully, looking in all directions for 
the children. There was no answer, and she 
turned to Lady Muriel with a puzzled smile. 
" Have the little darlings hid themselves ?" 

" I don't see them, just now," Lady Muriel 
replied, rather evasively. " You can leave their 
things here, Wilson. /'// dress them, when 
they're ready to go." 

The two little hats, and Sylvie's walking- 
jacket, were handed round among the ladies, 
with many exclamations of delight. There 
certainly was a sort of witchery of beauty about 
them. Even the little boots did not miss their 
share of favorable criticism. " Such natty little 
things ! " the musical young lady exclaimed, 
almost fondling them as she spoke. "And 
what tiny tiny feet they must have ! " 

Finally, the things were piled together on the 
centre-ottoman, and the guests, despairing of 
seeing the children again, began to wish good- 
night and leave the house. 

There were only some eight or nine left 

to whom the Count was explaining, for the 
twentieth time, how he had had his eye on the 



xvi] BEYOND THESE VOICES. 253 

children during the last verse of the song ; how 
he had then glanced round the room, to see 
what effect " de great chest-note " had had 
upon his audience ; and how, when he looked 

back again, they had both disappeared when 

exclamations of dismay began to be heard 
on all sides, the Count hastily bringing his 
story to an end to join in the outcry. 

The walking-things had all disappeared ! 

After the utter failure of the search for the 
children, there was a very half-hearted search 
made for their apparel. The remaining guests 
seemed only too glad to get away, leaving only 
the Count and our four selves. 

The Count sank into an easy-chair, and 
panted a little. 

" Who then are these dear children, I pray 
you?" he said. "Why come they, why go 
they, in this so little ordinary a fashion ? That 

the music should make itself to vanish that 

the hats, the boots, should make themselves to 
vanish how is it, I pray you ? " 

" I've no idea where they are ! " was all I 
could say, on finding myself appealed to, by 
general consent, for an explanation. 



254 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

The Count seemed about to ask further 
questions, but checked himself. 

" The hour makes himself to become late," 
he said. " I wish to you a very good night, 

my Lady. I betake myself to my bed to 

dream if that indeed I be not dreaming 

now ! " And he hastily left the room. 

" Stay awhile, stay awhile !" said the Earl, 
as I was about to follow the Count. " You 
are not a guest, you know ! Arthur's friend 
is at home here ! " 

" Thanks ! " I said, as, with true English 
instincts, we drew our chairs together round 
the fire-place, though no fire was burning- 
Lady Muriel having taken the heap of music 
on her knee, to have one more search for the 
strangely-vanished song. 

" Don't you sometimes feel a wild longing," 
she said, addressing herself to me, " to have 
something more to do with your hands, while 
you talk, than just holding a cigar, and now 
and then knocking off the ash ? Oh, I know 
all that you're going to say ! " (This was to 
Arthur, who appeared about to interrupt her.) 
" The Majesty of Thought supersedes the 



xvi] BEYOND THESE VOICES. 255 

work of the fingers. A Man's severe thinking, 
plus the shaking-off a cigar-ash, comes to the 
same total as a Woman's trivial fancies, plus 
the most elaborate embroidery. That's your 
sentiment, isn't it, only better expressed ? " 

Arthur looked into the radiant, mischievous 
face, with a grave and very tender smile. 
" Yes," he said resignedly : " that is my senti- 
ment, exactly." 

" Rest of body, and activity of mind," I put 
in. " Some writer tells us that is the acme of 
human happiness." 

" Plenty of bodily rest, at any rate ! " Lady 
Muriel replied, glancing at the three recum- 
bent figures around her. " But what you call 
activity of mind " 

" is the privilege of young Physicians 

only I' said the Earl. " We old men have no 
claim to be active ! What can an old man 
do bid die ? " 

" A good many other things, I should hope" 
Arthur said earnestly. 

" Well, maybe. Still you have the advan- 
tage of me in many ways, dear boy ! Not 
only that your day is dawning while mine is 



256 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

setting, but jour interest in Life somehow I 

ca'n't help envying you that. It will be many 
a year before you lose your hold of that" 

" Yet surely many human interests survive 
human Life ? " I said. 

" Many do, no doubt. And some forms of 
Science ; but only some, I think. Mathematics, 
for instance : that seems to possess an endless 
interest : one ca'n't imagine any form of Life, 
or any race of intelligent beings, where Mathe- 
matical truth would lose its meaning. But I 
fear Medicine stands on a different footing. 
Suppose you discover a remedy for some dis- 
ease hitherto supposed to be incurable. Well, 

it is delightful for the moment, no doubt full 

of interest perhaps it brings you fame and 

fortune. But what then ? Look on, a few 
years, into a life where disease has no exist- 
ence. What is your discovery worth, then ? 
Milton makes Jove promise too much. ' Of 
so much fame in heaven expect thy meed. ' Poor 
comfort, when one's ' fame ' concerns matters 
that will have ceased to have a meaning ! " 

" At any rate, one wouldn't care to make 
any fresh medical discoveries," said Arthur. 



xvi] BEYOND THESE VOICES. 257 

" I see no help for that -though I shall be 
sorry to give up my favorite studies. Still, 

medicine, disease, pain, sorrow, sin 1 fear 

they're all linked together. Banish sin, and 
you banish them all ! " 

" Military science is a yet stronger instance/' 
said the Earl. " Without sin, war would surely 
be impossible. Still any mind, that has had in 
this life any keen interest, not in itself sinful, 
will surely find itself some congenial line of 
work hereafter. Wellington may have no more 
battles to fight and yet 

' We doubt not that, for one so true, 
There must be other, nobler work to do, 
Than when he fought at Waterloo, 

And Victor he must ever be ! ' ' 

He lingered over the beautiful words, as if 
he loved them : and his voice, like distant 
music, died away into silence. 

After a minute or two he began again. " If 
I'm not wearying you, I would like to tell you 
an idea of the future Life which has haunted 
me for years, like a sort of waking night- 
mare 1 ca'n't reason myself out of it." 

s 



258 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Pray do," Arthur and I replied, almost in 
a breath. Lady Muriel put aside the heap 
of music, and folded her hands together. 

"The one idea," the Earl resumed, "that 
has seemed to me to overshadow all the rest, 

is that of Eternity involving, as it seems to 

do, the necessary exhaustion of all subjects of 
human interest. Take Pure Mathematics, for 
instance a Science independent of our pres- 
ent surroundings. I have studied it, myself, 
a little. Take the subject of circles and ellip- 
ses what we call ' curves of the second de- 
gree.' In a future Life, it would only be a 
question of so many years (or hundreds of 
years, if you like), for a man to work out all 
their properties. Then he might go to curves 
of the third degree. Say that took ten times 
as long (you see we have unlimited time to 
deal with). I can hardly imagine his interest 
in the subject holding out even for those ; and, 
though there is no limit to the degree of the 
curves he might study, yet surely the time, 
needed to exhaust all the novelty and interest 
of the subject, would be absolutely finite ? 
And so of all other branches of Science. And, 



XVI] BEYOND THESE VOICES. 259 

when I transport myself, in thought, through 
some thousands or millions of years, and fancy 
myself possessed of as much Science as one 
created reason can carry, I ask myself ' What 
then ? With nothing more to learn, can one 
rest content on knowledge, for the eternity yet 
to be lived through ?' It has been a very 
wearying thought to me. I have sometimes 
fancied one might, in that event, say 'It is 
better not to be,' and pray for personal anni- 
hilation the Nirvana of the Buddhists." 

" But that is only half the picture," I said. 
" Besides working for oneself, may there not 
be the helping of others ? " 

" Surely, surely ! " Lady Muriel exclaimed 
in a tone of relief, looking at her father with 
sparkling eyes. 

"Yes," said the Earl, " so long as there were 
any others needing help. But, given ages and 
ages more, surely all created reasons would at 
length reach the same dead level of satiety. 
And then what is there to look forward to ? " 

" I know that weary feeling," said the young 
Doctor. " I have gone through it all, more 
than once. Now let me tell you how I have 

s 2 



260 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

put it to myself. I have imagined a little child, 
playing with toys on his nursery-floor, and yet 
able to reason, and to look on, thirty years 
ahead. Might he not say to himself ' By that 
time I shall have had enough of bricks and 
ninepins. How weary Life will be ! ' Yet, if 
we look forward through those thirty years, we 
find him a great statesman, full of interests and 
joys far more intense than his baby-life could 
give joys wholly inconceivable to his baby- 
mind joys such as no baby-language could in 

the faintest degree describe. Now, may not our 
life, a million years hence, have the same rela- 
tion, to our life now, that the man's life has to 
the child's ? And, just as one might try, all in 
vain, to express to that child, in the language 
of bricks and ninepins, the meaning of ' politics,' 
so perhaps all those descriptions of Heaven, 
with its music, and its feasts, and its streets of 
gold, may be only attempts to describe, in our 
words, things for which we really have no 
words at all. Don't you think that, in your 
picture of another life, you are in fact trans- 
planting that child into political life, without 
making any allowance for his growing up ? " 



xvi] BEYOND THESE VOICES. 261 

" I think I understand you," said the Earl. 
" The music of Heaven may be something 
beyond our powers of thought. Yet the music 
of Earth is sweet ! Muriel, my child, sing us 
something before we go to bed ! " 

" Do," said Arthur, as he rose and lit the 
candles on the cottage-piano, lately banished 
from the drawing-room to make room for a 
'semi-grand.' "There is a song here, that I 
have never heard you sing. 

'Hail to thee, blithe spirit ! 

Bird tJwu never wert, 
That from Heaven, or near it, 

P cures t thy f 11 II heart ! ' ' 

he read from the page he had spread open 
before her. 

""And our little life here," the Earl went on, 
" is, to that grand time, like a child's summer- 
day ! One gets tired as night draws on," he 
added, with a touch of sadness in his voice, 
" and one gets to long for bed ! For those 
welcome words ' Come, child, 'tis bed-time ! ' 



CHAPTER XVII. 

TO THE RESCUE ! 

" IT isrit bed-time!" said a sleepy little 
voice. " The owls hasn't gone to bed, and I 
s'a'n't go to seep wizout oo sings to me ! " 

" Oh, Bruno ! " cried Sylvie. " Don't you 
know the owls have only just got up ? But 
the frogs have gone to bed, ages ago." 

" Well, / aren't a frog," said Bruno. 

" What shall I sing ? " said Sylvie, skilfully 
avoiding the argument. 

" Ask Mister Sir," Bruno lazily replied, clasp- 
ing his hands behind his curly head, and lying 
back on his fern-leaf, till it almost bent over 



xvn] TO THE RESCUE ! 263 

with his weight. " This aren't a comfable leaf, 

Sylvie. Find me a comfabler please ! " he 

added, as an after-thought, in obedience to a 
warning finger held up by Sylvie. " I doosn't 
like being feet-upwards ! " 

It was a pretty sight to see the motherly 

way in which the fairy-child gathered up her 
little brother in her arms, and laid him on a 
stronger leaf. She gave it just a touch to set 
it rocking, and it went on vigorously by itself, 
as if it contained some hidden machinery. It 
certainly wasn't the wind, for the evening-breeze 
had quite died away again, and not a leaf was 
stirring over our heads. 

"Why does that one leaf rock so, without 
the others ? " I asked Sylvie. She only smiled 
sweetly and shook her head. " I don't know 
why I' she said. "It always does, if it's got a 
fairy-child on it. It has to, you know." 

" And can people see the leaf rock, who ca'n't 
see the Fairy on it ? " 

" Why, of course ! " cried Sylvie. " A leaf's 
a leaf, and everybody can see it ; but Bruno's 
Bruno, and they ca'n't see him, unless they're 
eerie, like you." 



264 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Then I understood how it was that one 

sometimes sees going through the woods in 

a still evening one fern-leaf rocking steadily 

on, all by itself. Haven't you ever seen that ? 
Try if you can see the fairy-sleeper on it, next 
time ; but don't pick the leaf, whatever you do ; 
let the little one sleep on ! 

But all this time Bruno was getting sleepier 
and sleepier. " Sing, sing ! " he murmured fret- 
fully. Sylvie looked to me for instructions. 
" What shall it be ? " she said. 

" Could you sing him the nursery-song you 
once told me of ? " I suggested. " The one 
that had been put through the mind-mangle, 
you know. ' The little man that had a little 
gun} I think it was. ' 

"Why, that are one of the Professors 
songs ! " cried Bruno. " I likes the little man ; 

and I likes the way they spinned him like a 

teetle-totle-tum." And he turned a loving look 
on the gentle old man who was sitting at the 
other side of his leaf-bed, and who instantly 
began to sing, accompanying himself on his 
Outlandish guitar, while the snail, on which he 
sat, waved its horns in time to the music. 



XVIl] 



TO THE RESCUE! 



265 




In stature the Manlet was dwarfish 
No burly big Blunderbore he : 

And he wearily gazed on tJie cra^vfish 
His Wifelet had dressed for his tea. 

" Now reach me, sweet Atom, my gunlet, 
And hurl tJie old -shoelet for luck : 

Let me hie to the bank of the runlet, 
And shoot thee a Duck ! " 



She has reached him his minikin gunlet : 
She has hurled the old sJioelet for luck 

She is busily baking a bunlet, 

To welcome him Jioine with his Duck. 



266 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

On he speeds, never wasting a wordlet, 

Though thoughtlets cling, closely as wax, 
To the spot iv/tere the beautiful birdlet 
So quietly quacks. 




Where the Lobsterlet lurks, and the Crablet 

So slowly and sleepily crawls : 
Where the Dolphins at home, and the Dablet 

Pays long ceremonious calls: 
Where the Grublet is sought by the Froglet: 

Where the Frog is pursued by the Duck : 
Where tJie Ducklct is chased by the Doglet 
So runs the world's hick I 



XVJlJ 



TO THE RESCUE ! 



267 




He has loaded with bullet and powder : 
His footfall is noiseless as air : 

But the Voices groiv louder and louder. 
And bellow, and bluster, and blare. 

They bristle before him and after, 
They flutter above and below, 

Shrill shriekings of lubberly laughter, 
Weird wailings of woe ! 



They echo without him, wit ft in him : 

They thrill through his whiskers and beard: 

Like a teetotum seeming to spin him, 
With sneers never hitherto sneered. 



268 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Avengement" they cry, "on our Foelet ! 

Let the Manikin weep for our wrongs ! 
Let its drench him, from toplet to toelet, 
With Nursery-Songs ! 




" He shall mnse upon ' Hey ! Diddle ! Diddle ! 

On the Cow tJiat surmounted the Moon : 
He shall rave of the Cat and tJie Fiddle, 

And the Dish tJiat eloped with the Spoon: 
A nd his soul shall be sad for the Spider, 

When Jlftss Muffct zvas sipping her whey, 
That so tenderly sat down beside her, 
And scared her away ! 



xvil] TO THE RESCUE ! 269 

" The music of Midsummer-madness 
Shall sting him with many a bite, 

Till, in rapture of rollicking sadness, 
He shall groan with a gloomy delight : 

He shall swathe him, like mists of the morning, 
In platitudes luscious and limp, 

Such as deck, with a deathless adorning, 
The Song of the Shrimp ! 



" When the Duck let's dark doom is decided, 
We will trundle him home in a trice : 

And the banquet, so plainly provided, 
Shall round into rose-buds and rice : 

In a blaze of pragmatic invention 

He shall wrestle with Fate, and shall reign 

But he has not a friend fit to mention, 
So hit him again ! " 



He has shot it, the delicate darling! 

And tJte Voices have ceased from their strife 
Not a whisper of sneering or snarling, 

As he carries it home to his wife: 
Then, cheerily champing the bunlet 

His spouse was so skilful to bake, 
He hies him once more to the runlet, 
To fetch her the Drake ! 



270 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" He's sound asleep now," said Sylvie, care- 
fully tucking in the edge of a violet-leaf, which 
she had been spreading over him as a sort of 
blanket: "good night!" 

" Good night ! " I echoed. 

" You may well say ' good night ' ! " laughed 
Lady Muriel, rising and shutting up the piano 

as she spoke. When you've been nid nid 

nodding all the time I've been singing for 

your benefit ! What was it all about, now ? " 
she demanded imperiously. 

" Something about a duck ? " I hazarded. 
"Well, a bird of some kind?" I corrected 
myself, perceiving at once that that guess was 
wrong, at any rate. 

"Something about a bird of some kind!" 
Lady Muriel repeated, with as much withering 
scorn as her sweet face was capable of con- 
veying. " And that's the way he speaks of 
Shelley's Sky- Lark, is it? When the Poet 
particularly says ' Hail to thee y blithe spirit ! 
Bird thou never wert ! ' 

She led the way to the smoking-room, where, 
ignoring all the usages of Society and all the 
instincts of Chivalry, the three Lords of the 



XVII] 



TO THE RESCUE! 



271 




Creation reposed at their ease in low rocking- 
chairs, and permitted the one lady who was 
present to glide gracefully about among us, 
supplying our wants in the form of cooling 
drinks, cigarettes, and lights. Nay, it was only 
one of the three who had the chivalry to go 



272 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

beyond the common-place " thank you," and to 
quote the Poet's exquisite description of how 
Geraint, when waited on by Enid, was moved 

" To stoop and kiss the tender little thumb 
TJiat crossed the platter as she laid it down" 

and to suit the action to the word an auda- 
cious liberty for which, I feel bound to report, 
he was not duly reprimanded. 

As no topic of conversation seemed to occur 
to any one, and as we were, all four, on those 
delightful terms with one another (the only 
terms, I think, on which any friendship, that 
deserves the name of intimacy, can be main- 
tained) which involve no sort of necessity for 
speaking for mere speaking's sake, we sat in 
silence for some minutes. 

At length I broke the silence by asking " Is 
there any fresh news from the harbour about 
the Fever ?" 

" None since this morning," the Earl said, 
looking very grave. " But that was alarming 
enough. The Fever is spreading fast : the 
London doctor has taken fright and left the 
place, and the only one now available isn't a 



xvn] TO THE RESCUE! 273 

regular doctor at all : he is apothecary, and 
doctor, and dentist, and I don't know what 
other trades, all in one. It's a bad outlook 

for those poor fishermen and a worse one 

for all the women and children." 

" How many are there of them altogether ? " 
Arthur asked. 

" There were nearly one hundred, a week 
ago," said the Earl: "but there have been 
twenty or thirty deaths since then." 

"And what religious ministrations are there 
to be had ? " 

" There are three brave men down there," 
the Earl replied, his voice trembling with emo- 
tion, " gallant heroes as ever won the Victoria 
Cross ! I am certain that no one of the three 
will ever leave the place merely to save his 
own life. There's the Curate : his wife is with 
him : they have no children. Then there's the 
Roman Catholic Priest. And there's the Wes- 
leyan Minister. They go amongst their own 
flocks, mostly ; but I'm told that those who 
are dying like to have any of the three with 
them. How slight the barriers seem to be 
that part Christian from Christian, when one 

T 



274 . SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

has to deal with the great facts of Life and the 
reality of Death ! " 

"So it must be, and so it should be 
Arthur was beginning, when the front-door 
bell rang, suddenly and violently. 

We heard the front-door hastily opened, and 
voices outside : then a knock at the door of 
the smoking-room, and the old house-keeper 
appeared, looking a little scared. 

" Two persons, my Lord, to speak with Dr. 
Forester." 

Arthur stepped outside at once, and we heard 
his cheery " Well, my men ? " but the answer 
was less audible, the only words I could dis- 
tinctly catch being " ten since morning, and two 
more just 

'' But there is a doctor there ? " we heard 
Arthur say : and a deep voice, that we had not 
heard before, replied " Dead, Sir. Died three 
hours ago." 

Lady Muriel shuddered, and hid her face in 
her hands : but at this moment the front-door 
was quietly closed, and we heard no more. 

For a few minutes we sat quite silent : then 
the Earl left the room, and soon returned to 



XVH] TO THE RESCUE! 275 

tell us that Arthur had gone away with the 
two fishermen, leaving word that he would 
be back in about an hour. And, true enough, 

at the end of that interval during which 

very little was said, none of us seeming to 

have the heart to talk the front-door once 

more creaked on its rusty hinges, and a step 
was heard in the passage, hardly to be recog- 
nised as Arthur's, so slow and uncertain was 
it, like a blind man feeling his way. 

He came in, and stood before Lady Muriel, 
resting one hand heavily on the table, and 
with a strange look in his eyes, as if he were 
walking in his sleep. 

" Muriel my love " he paused, and his 

lips quivered : but after a minute he went on 

more steadily. " Muriel my darling they 

want me down in the harbour." 

" Must you go ? " she pleaded, rising and 
laying her hands on his shoulders, and looking 
up into his face with her great eyes brimming 
over with tears. " Must yoii go, Arthur ? It 
may mean death \ " 

He met her gaze without flinching. " It 
does mean death," he said, in a husky whisper : 

T 2 



276 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" but darling 1 am called. And even my 

life itself His voice failed him, and he 

said no more. 

For a minute she stood quite silent, looking 
upwards with a helpless gaze, as if even prayer 1 
were now useless, while her features worked 
and quivered with the great agony she was 
enduring. Then a sudden inspiration seemed 
to come upon her and light up her face with 
a strange sweet smile. " Your life ?" she re- 
peated. "It is not yours to give ! " 

Arthur had recovered himself by this time, 
and could reply quite firmly, " That is true," he 
said. " It is not mine to give. It is yours, now, 

my wife that is to be ! And you && you 

forbid me to go ? Will you not spare me, my 
own beloved one ? " 

Still clinging to him, she laid her head softly 
on his breast. She had never done such a 
thing in my presence before, and I knew how 
deeply she must be moved. " I will spare you," 
she said, calmly and quietly, "to God." 

"And to God's poor,' : he whispered. 

"And to God's poor," she added. "When 
must it be, sweet love ? " 



XVI I] 



TO THE RESCUE! 



277 




" To-morrow morning," he replied. " And I 
have much to do before then." 

And then he told us how he had spent his 
hour of absence. He had been to the Vicarage, 
and had arranged for the wedding to take place 
at eight the next morning (there was no legal 
obstacle, as he had, some time before this, 
obtained a Special License) in the little church 



278 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

we knew so well. " My old friend here," 
indicating me, " will act as ' Best Man,' I know : 
your father will be there to give you away : 

and and- you will dispense with bride's- 

maids, my darling ? " 

She nodded : no words came. 

" And then I can go with a willing heart 

to do God's work knowing that we are one 

and that we are together in spirit, though 

not in bodily presence and are most of all 

together when we pray ! Our prayers will go 
up together 

"Yes, yes!" sobbed Lady Muriel. "But 
you must not stay longer now, my darling ! 
Go home and take some rest. You will need 
all your strength to-morrow 

14 Well, I will go," said Arthur. " We will 
be here in good time to-morrow. Good night, 
my own own darling ! " 

I followed his example, and we two left the 
house together. As we walked back to our 
lodgings, Arthur sighed deeply once or twice, 

and seemed about to speak but no words 

came, till we had entered the house, and had 
lit our candles, and were at our bedroom- 



xvn] TO THE RESCUE ! 279 

doors. Then Arthur said "Good night, old 
fellow ! God bless you ! " 

" God bless you ! " I echoed, from the very 
depths of my heart. 

We were back again at the Hall by eight in 
the morning, and found Lady Muriel and the 
Earl, and the old Vicar, waiting for us. It was 
a strangely sad and silent party that walked up 
to the little church and back ; and I could not 
help feeling that it was much more like a funeral 
than a wedding : to Lady Muriel it was in fact, a 
funeral rather than a wedding, so heavily did 
the presentiment weigh upon her (as she told 
us afterwards) that her newly-won husband was 
going forth to his death. 

Then we had breakfast ; and, all too soon, 
the vehicle was at the door, which was to con- 
vey Arthur, first to his lodgings, to pick up the 
things he was taking with him, and then as 
far towards the death-stricken hamlet as it was 
considered safe to go. One or two of the 
fishermen were to meet him on the road, to 
carry his things the rest of the way. 

" And are you quite sure you are taking all 
that you will need ? " Lady Muriel a,sked. 



280 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" All that I shall need as a doctor, certainly. 
And my own personal needs are few : I shall 
not even take any of my own wardrobe- 
there is a fisherman's suit, ready-made, that 
is waiting for me at my lodgings. I shall 
only take my watch, and a few books, and 

stay there is one book I should like to add, 

a pocket-Testament to use at the bedsides 

of the sick and dying 

" Take mine ! " said Lady Muriel : and she 
ran upstairs to fetch it. "It has nothing 
written in it but ' Muriel,' " she said as she 
returned with it : " shall I inscribe 

" No, my own one," said Arthur, taking it 
from her. ' ' What could you inscribe better 
than that ? Could any human name mark it 
more clearly as my own individual property ? 
Are you not mine ? Are you not," (with all 
the old playfulness of manner) " as Bruno 
would say, ' my very mine ' ? " 

He bade a long and loving adieu to the 
Earl and to me, and left the room, accompanied 
only by his wife, who was bearing up bravely, 

and was outwardly, at least less overcome 

than her old father. We waited in the room a 



xvil] TO THE RESCUE! 281 

minute or two, till the sound of wheels had told 
us that Arthur had driven away ; and even 
then we waited still, for the step of Lady 
Muriel, going upstairs to her room, to die away 
in the distance. Her step, usually so light 
and joyous, now sounded slow and weary, like 
one who plods on under a load of hopeless 
misery ; and I felt almost as hopeless, and 
almost as wretched, as she. "Are we four 
destined ever to meet again, on this side the 
grave ? " I asked myself, as I walked to my 
home. And the tolling of a distant bell seemed 
to answer me, "No! No I No!" 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

A NEWSPAPER-CUTTING. 
EXTRACT FROM THE " FAY FIELD CHRONICLE? 

Our readers will have followed with painful 
interest, the accounts we have from time to time 
piiblished of the terrible epidemic which has, 
ditring the last two months, carried off most of 
the inhabitants of the little fishing-harbour ad- 
joining the village of Elveston. The last sur- 
vivors, numbering twenty-three only, oztt of a 
population which, three short months ago, ex- 
ceeded one hundred and twenty, were removed 
on Wednesday last, under the authority of the 



xvm] A NEWSPAPER-CUTTING. 283 

Local Board, and safely lodged in the County 
Hospital : and the place is now veritably ' a city 
of the dead} without a single human voice to 
break its silence. 

The rescuing party consisted of six sturdy 
fellows -fishermen from the neighbourhood- 
directed by the resident Physician of the Hos- 
pital, who came over for that purpose, heading a 
train of hospital-ambulances. The six men had 
been selected -from a mucJi larger number who 
had volunteered for this peace f^d 'forlorn hope ' 

for their strength and robust health, as the 
expedition was considered to be, even now, when 
the malady has expended its chief force, not 
unattended with danger. 

Every precaution that science could suggest, 
against the risk of infection, was adopted : and 
the sufferers were tenderly carried on litters, 
one by one, up the steep hill, and placed in the 
ambulances which, each provided with a hospital 
nurse, were waiting on the level road. The 
fifteen miles, to the Hospital, were done at a 
walking-pace, as some of the patients were in too 
prostrate a condition to bear jolting, and the 
journey occupied the whole afternoon. 



284 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

The twenty-three patients consist of nine men, 
six women, and eight children. It has not been 
found possible to identify them all, as some of 
the children -left with no surviving relatives 
are infants ; and two men and one woman 
are not yet able to make rational replies, the 
brain-powers being entirely in abeyance. Among 
a -more well-to-do-race, there would no doubt 
have been names marked on the clothes; but 
here no such evidence is forthcoming. 

Besides the poor fishermen and their families, 
there were b^lt five persons to be accounted for : 
and it was ascertained, beyond a doubt, that all 
five are numbered with the dead. It is a melan- 
choly pleasure to place on record the names of 

these genuine martyrs than whom none, surely, 

are more worthy to be entered on the glory-roll 
of England s heroes ! They are as follows : 

The Rev. James Biirgess, M.A., and Emma 
his wife. He was the Curate at the Harbour, 
not thirty years old, and had been married only 
two years. A written record was found in 
their house, of the dates of -their deaths. 

Next to theirs we will place the honoured 
name of Dr. Arthur Forester, who, on the death 



xvm] A NEWSPAPER-CUTTING. 285 

of the local physician, nobly faced the imminent 
peril of death, rather than leave these poor folk 
uncared for in their last extremity. No record 
of his name, or of the date of his death, was 
found: but the corpse was easily identified, 
although dressed in the ordinary fisherman s 
suit (which he was known to have adopted when 
he went down there], by a copy of the New 
Testament, the gift of his wife, which was 
found, placed next his heart, with his hands 
crossed over it. It was not thoiight prudent to 
remove the body, for burial elsewhere : and ac- 
cordingly it was at once committed to the gro2ind, 
along with four others found in different houses, 
with all diie reverence. His wife, whose maiden 
name was Lady Muriel Orme, had been married 
to him on the very morning on which he under- 
took his self-sacrificing mission. 

Next we record the Rev. Walter Saunders, 
Wesley an Minister. His death is believed to 
have taken place two or three weeks ago, as the 
words ' Died October 5 ' were found written on 
the wall of the room which he is known to have 
occupied the house being shut up, and appar- 
ently not having been entered for some time. 



286 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Last though not a whit behind the other 

four in glorious self-denial and devotion to duty 

let us record the name of Father Francis, 
a young fe suit Priest who had been only a few 
months in the place. He had not been dead 
many hours when the exploring party came 2ipon 
the body, which was identified, beyond the possi- 
bility of doubt, by the dress, and by the crucifix, 
which was, like the young Doctor s Testament, 
clasped closely to his heart. 

Since reaching the hospital, two of the men 
and one of the children have died. Hope is en- 
tertained for all the others : though there are 
two or three cases where the vital powers seem 
to be so entirely exhausted that it is but ' hoping 
against hope ' to regard ultimate recovery as 
even possible. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

A FAIRY-DUET. 

THE year what an eventful year it had 

been for me ! was drawing to a close, and 

the brief wintry day hardly gave light enough 
to recognise the old familiar objects, bound up 
with so many happy memories, as the train 
glided round the last bend into the station, 
and the hoarse cry of " Elveston ! Elveston ! " 
resounded along the platform. 

It was sad to return to the place, and to 
feel that I should never again see the glad 
smile of welcome, that had awaited me here 
so few months ago. "And yet, if I were to 



288 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED 

find him here," I muttered, as in solitary state 
I followed the porter, who was wheeling my 
luggage on a barrow, "and if he were to 'strike 
a sudden hand in mine, And ask a thousand 

things of home', I should not no, ' / should 

not feel u to be strange ' / " 

Having given directions to have my luggage 
taken to my old lodgings, I strolled off alone, 
to pay a visit, before settling down in my own 

quarters, to my dear old friends for such I 

indeed felt them to be, though it was barely 

half a year since first we met the Earl and 

his widowed daughter. 

The shortest way, as I well remembered, was 
to cross through the churchyard. I pushed 
open the little wicket-gate and slowly took my 
way among the solemn memorials of the quiet 
dead, thinking of the many who had, during 
the past year, disappeared from the place, and 
had gone to 'join the majority.' A very few 
steps brought me in sight of the object of my 
search. Lady Muriel, dressed in the deepest 
mourning, her face hidden by a long crape veil, 
was kneeling before a little marble cross, round 
which she was fastening a wreath of flowers. 



xix] A FAIRY- DUET. 289 

The cross stood on a piece of level turf, un- 
broken by any mound, and I knew that it was 
simply a memorial-cross, for one whose dust 
reposed elsewhere, even before reading the 
simple inscription : 



In loving Memory of 
ARTHUR FORESTER, M.D. 

whose mortal remains lie buried by the sea : 
whose spirit has returned to God who gave it. 



"reater lobe fyatfj no man tfjan tfjts, tfyat 
a man lag iofon tys life for fjis friends." 



She threw back her veil on seeing me ap- 
proach, and came forwards to meet me, with a 
quiet smile, and far more self-possessed than I 
could have expected. 

" It is quite like old times, seeing you here 
again ! " she said, in tones of genuine pleasure. 
" Have you been to see my father ? " 

" No," I said : " I was on my way there, and 
came through here as the shortest way. I 
hope he is well, and you also ? " 

" Thanks, we are both quite well. And you ? 
Are you any better yet ? " 

u 



2QQ SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

"Not much better, I fear : but no worse, I 
am thankful to say." 

" Let us sit here awhile, and have a quiet 
chat," she said. The calmness almost in- 
difference of her manner quite took me by 

surprise. I little guessed what a fierce restraint 
she was putting upon herself. 

" One can be so quiet here," she resumed. 
" I come here every every day." 

" It is very peaceful," I said. 

" You got my letter ? " 

" Yes, but I delayed writing. It is so hard 
to say on paper " 

" I know. It was kind of you. You were 

with us when we saw the last of She 

paused a moment, and went on more hurriedly. 
" I went down to the harbour several times, 
but no one knows which of those vast graves it 
is. However, they showed me the house he 
died in : that was some comfort. I stood in the 
very room where where ." She strug- 
gled in vain to go on. The flood-gates had 
given way at last, and the outburst of grief was 
the most terrible I had ever witnessed. Totally 
regardless of my presence, she flung herself 



XIX] 



A FAIRY-DUET. 




down on the turf, burying her face in the grass, 
and with her hands clasped round the little 
marble cross, " Oh, my darling, my darling ! " 
she sobbed. " And God meant your life to be 
so beautiful ! " 

I was startled to hear, thus repeated by Lady 
Muriel, the very words of the darling child 
whom I had seen weeping so bitterly over 
the dead hare. Had some mysterious influ- 
ence passed, from that sweet fairy-spirit, ere 

u 2 



292 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

she went back to Fairyland, into the human 
spirit that loved her so dearly ? The idea 
seemed too wild for belief. And yet, are there 
not ' more things in heaven and earth than 
are dreamt of in oiir philosophy ' ? 

" God meant it to be beautiful," I whispered, 
" and surely it was beautiful ? God's purpose 
never fails ! " I dared say no more, but rose 
and left her. At the entrance-gate to the 
Earl's house I waited, leaning on the gate and 
watching the sun set, revolving many memories 

some happy, some sorrowful until Lady 

Muriel joined me. 

She was quite calm again now. " Do come 
in," she said. " My father will be so pleased 
to see you ! " 

The old man rose from his chair, with a smile, 
to welcome me ; but his self-command was far 
less than his daughter's, and the tears coursed 
down his face as he grasped both my hands 
in his, and pressed them warmly. 

My heart was too full to speak ; and we all 
sat silent for a minute or two. Then Lady 
Muriel rang the bell for tea. " You do take 
five o'clock tea, I know ! " she said to me, 



xix] A FAIRY-DUET. 293 

with the sweet playfulness of manner I remem- 
bered so well, " even though you cant work 
your wicked will on the Law of Gravity, and 
make the teacups descend into Infinite Space, 
a little faster than the tea ! " 

This remark gave the tone to our conversa- 
tion. By a tacit mutual consent, we avoided, 
during this our first meeting after her great 
sorrow, the painful topics that filled our thoughts, 
and talked like light-hearted children who had 
never known a care. 

" Did you ever ask yourself the question," 
Lady Muriel began, a propos of nothing, 
" what is the chief advantage of being a Man 
instead of a Dog ? " 

" No, indeed," I said : " but I think there 
are advantages on the Dog's side of the 
question, as well." 

" No doubt," she replied, with that pretty 
mock-gravity that became her so well : " but, 
on Mans side, the chief advantage seems to 
me to consist in having pockets ! It was borne 

in upon me upon us, I should say ; for my 

father and I were returning from a walk- 
only yesterday. We met a dog carrying home 



294 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

a bone. What it wanted it for, I've no idea: 
certainly there was no meat on it 

A strange sensation came over me, that I 
had heard all this, or something exactly like 
it, before : and I almost expected her next 
words to be " perhaps he meant to make a 
cloak for the winter ? " However what she 
really said was "and my father tried to ac- 
count for it by some wretched joke about pro 
bono publico. Well, the dog laid down the 

bone not in disgust with the pun, which 

would have shown it to be a dog of taste- 
but simply to rest its jaws, poor thing ! I 
did pity it so ! Won't you join my Charitable 
Association for supplying dogs with pockets ? 
How would you like to have to carry your 
walking-stick in your mouth ? " 

Ignoring the difficult question as to the 
raison dtre of a walking-stick, supposing one 
had no hands, I mentioned a curious instance, 
I had once witnessed, of reasoning by a dog. 
A gentleman, with a lady, and child, and a 
large dog, were down at the end of a pier on 
which I was walking. To amuse his child, 
I suppose, the gentleman put down on the 



Xixj A FAIRY-DUET. 295 

ground his umbrella and the lady's parasol, 
and then led the way to the other end of the 
pier, from which he sent the dog back for the 
deserted articles. I was watching with some 
curiosity. The dog came racing back to where 
I stood, but found an unexpected difficulty in 
picking 'up the things it had come for. With 
the umbrella in its mouth, its jaws were so 
far apart that it could get no firm grip on the 
parasol. After two or three failures, it paused 
and considered the matter. 

Then it put down the umbrella and began 
with the parasol. Of course that didn't open 
its jaws nearly so wide, and it was able to 
get a good hold of the umbrella, and galloped 
off in triumph. One couldn't doubt that it had 
gone through a real train of logical thought. 

" I entirely agree with you," said Lady 
Muriel : "but don't orthodox writers condemn 
that view, as putting Man on the level of the 
lower animals ? Don't they draw a sharp 
boundary-line between Reason and Instinct?" 

" That certainly was the orthodox view, a 
generation ago," said the Earl. " The truth 
of Religion seemed ready to stand or fall with 



296 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

the assertion that Man was the only reasoning 
animal. But that is at an end now. Man can 

still claim certain monopolies for instance, 

such a use of language as enables us to utilise 
the work of many, by ' division of labour.' 
But the belief, that we have a monopoly of 
Reason, has long been swept away. Yet no 
catastrophe has followed. As some old poet 
says, ' God is where he was' ' 

" Most religious believers would now agree 
with Bishop Butler," said I, "and not reject 
a line of argument, even if it led straight to 
the conclusion that animals have some kind 
of soul, which survives their bodily death." 

" I would like to know that to be true ! " 
Lady Muriel exclaimed. "If only for the sake 
of trie poor horses. Sometimes I've thought 
that, if anything could make me cease to be- 
lieve in a God of perfect justice, it would be 
the sufferings of horses without guilt to de- 
serve it, and without any compensation ! " 

" It is only part of the great Riddle," said 
the Earl, "why innocent beings ever suffer. It 

is a great strain on Faith but not a breaking 

strain, I think." 



xix] A FAIRY-DUET. 297 

"The sufferings of horses" I said, "are 
chiefly caused by Mans cruelty. So that is 
merely one of the many instances of Sin 
causing suffering to others than the Sinner 
himself. But don't you find a greater diffi- 
culty in sufferings inflicted by animals upon 
each other ? For instance, a cat playing with 
a mouse. Assuming it to have no moral 
responsibility, isn't that a greater mystery 
than a man over-driving a horse ? " 

" I think it is" said Lady Muriel, looking a 
mute appeal to her father. 

" What right have we to make that assump- 
tion ? " said the Earl. " Many of our religious 
difficulties are merely deductions from unwar- 
ranted assumptions. The wisest answer to 
most of them, is, I think, ' behold, we know not 
anything? ' : 

" You mentioned ' division of labour,' just 
now," I said. " Surely it is carried to a 
wonderful perfection in a hive of bees ? " 

" So wonderful so entirely super-human 

said the Earl, " and so entirely incon- 
sistent with the intelligence they show in other 
ways that I feel no doubt at all that it is 



298 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

pure Instinct, and not, as some hold, a very 
high order of Reason. Look at the utter 
stupidity of a bee, trying to find its way out of 
an open window! It doesrit try, in any rea- 
sonable sense of the word : it simply bangs 
itself about ! We should call a puppy imbecile, 
that behaved so. And yet we are asked to 
believe that its intellectual level is above Sir 
Isaac Newton ! " 

"Then you hold that pure Instinct contains 
no Reason at all ? " 

" On the contrary," said the Earl, " I hold 
that the work of a bee-hive involves Reason of 
the highest order. But none of it is done by 
the Bee. God has reasoned it all out, and has 
put into the mind of the Bee the conclusions, 
only, of the reasoning process." 

" But how do their minds come to work 
together?" I asked. 

"What right have we to assume that they 
have minds ? " 

" Special pleading, special pleading ! " Lady 
Muriel cried, in a most unfilial tone of triumph. 
" Why, you yourself said, just now, ' the mind 
of the Bee'!" 



xix] A FAIRY- DUET. 299 

"But I did not say ' minds,' my child," the 
Earl gently replied. "It has occurred to me, 
as the most probable solution of the ' Bee '- 
mystery, that a swarm of Bees have only one 
mind among them. We often see one mind 
animating a most complex collection of limbs 
and organs, when joined together. How do 
we know that any material connection is neces- 
sary ? May not mere neighbourhood be 
enough ? If so, a swarm of bees is simply a 
single animal whose many limbs are not quite 
close together ! " 

" It is a bewildering thought," I said, " and 
needs a night's rest to grasp it properly. Rea- 
son and Instinct both tell me I ought to go 
home. So, good-night ! " 

" I'll ' set ' you part of the way," said Lady 
Muriel. " I've had no walk to-day. It will 
do me good, and I have more to say to you. 
Shall we go through the wood ? It will be 
pleasanter than over the common, even though 
it is getting a little dark." 

We turned aside into the shade of interlacing 
boughs, which formed an architecture of almost 
perfect symmetry, grouped into lovely groined 



300 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

arches, or running out, far as the eye could 
follow, into endless aisles, and chancels, and 
naves, like some ghostly cathedral, fashioned 
out of the dream of a moon-struck poet. 

"Always, in this wood," she began after a 
pause (silence seemed natural in this dim 
solitude), " I begin thinking of Fairies ! May 
I ask you a question ? " she added hesitatingly. 
" Do you believe in Fairies ? " 

The momentary impulse was so strong to 
tell her of my experiences in this very wood, 
that I had to make a real effort to keep back 
the words that rushed to my lips. "If you 
mean, by ' believe,' ' believe in their possible 
existence,' I say 'Yes.' For their actual exist- 
ence, of course, one would need evidence" 

" You were saying, the other day," she went 
on, " that you would accept anything, on good 
evidence, that was not a priori impossible. 
And I think you named Ghosts as an instance 
of a provable phenomenon. Would Fairies be 
another instance ? " 

" Yes, I think so." And again it was hard 
to check the wish to say more : but I was not 
yet sure of a sympathetic listener. 



xix] A FAIRY-DUET. 301 

"And have you any theory as to what sort 
of place they would occupy in Creation ? Do 
tell me what you think about them ! Would 
they, for instance (supposing such beings to 
exist), would they have any moral responsi- 
bility ? I mean " (and the light bantering tone 
suddenly changed to one of deep seriousness) 
"would they be capable of sin?" 

" They can reason on a lower level, per- 
haps, than men and women never rising, I 

think, above the faculties of a child ; and they 
have a moral sense, most surely. Such a 
being, without free will, would be an absurdity. 
So I am driven to the conclusion that they 
are capable of sin." 

" You believe in them ? " she cried de- 
lightedly, with a sudden motion as if about to 
clap her hands. " Now tell me, have you any 
reason for it ? " 

And still I strove to keep back the revela- 
tion I felt sure was coming. " I believe that 

there is life everywhere not material only, 

not merely what is palpable to our senses but 

immaterial and invisible as well. We believe 
in our own immaterial essence call it ' soul,' 



302 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

or ' spirit,' or what you will. Why should not 
other similar essences exist around us, not 
linked on to a visible and material body ? 
Did not God make this swarm of happy in- 
sects, to dance in this sunbeam for one hour of 
bliss, for no other object, that we can imagine, 
than to swell . the sum of conscious happiness ? 
And where shall we dare to draw the line, and 
say ' He has made all these and no more ' ? " 

" Yes, yes ! " she assented, watching me with 
sparkling eyes. " But these are only reasons 
for not denying. You have more reasons than 
this, have you not ? " 

" Well, yes," I said, feeling I might safely 
tell all now. "And I could not find a fitter 

time or place to say it. I have seen them 

and in this very wood ! " 

Lady Muriel asked no more questions. Si- 
lently she paced at my side, with head bowed 
down and hands clasped tightly together. 
Only, as my tale went on, she drew a little 
short quick breath now and then, like a child 
panting with delight. And I told her what I 
had never yet breathed to any other listener, 
of my double life, and, more than that (for 



xix] A FAIRY-DUET. 303 

mine might have been but a noonday-dream), 
of the double life of those two dear children. 

And when I told her of Bruno's wild gambols, 
she laughed merrily ; and when I spoke of 
Sylvie's sweetness and her utter unselfishness 
and trustful love, she drew a deep breath, like 
one who hears at last some precious tidings for 
which the heart has ached for a long while ; 
and the happy tears chased one another down 
her cheeks. 

" I have often longed to meet an angel," she 
whispered, so low that I could hardly catch the 
words. " I'm so glad I've seen Sylvie ! My 
heart went out to the child the first moment 

that I saw her Listen ! " she broke off 

suddenly. " That's Sylvie singing ! I'm sure 
of it ! Don't you know her voice ? " 

" I have heard Brimo sing, more than once," 
I said : " but I never heard Sylvie." 

" I have only heard her once" said Lady- 
Muriel. " It was that day when you brought 
us those mysterious flowers. The children 
had run out into the garden ; and I saw Eric 
coming in that way, and went to the window 
to meet him : and Sylvie was singing, under 



304 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

the trees, a song I had never heard before. 
The words were something like ' I think it is 
Love, I feel it is Love.' Her voice sounded 
far away, like a dream, but it was beautiful 

beyond all words as sweet as an infant's 

first smile, or the first gleam of the white, cliffs 
when one is coming home after weary years 

a voice that seemed to fill one's whole 

being with peace and heavenly thoughts- 
Listen ! " she cried, breaking off again in her 
excitement. " That is her voice, and that's 
the very song ! " 

I could distinguish no words, but there was 
a dreamy sense of music in the air that seemed 
to grow ever louder and louder, as if coming 
nearer to us. We stood quite silent, and in 
another minute the two children appeared, 
coming straight towards us through an arched 
opening among the trees. Each had an arm 
round the other, and the setting sun shed a 
golden halo round their heads, like what one 
sees in pictures of saints. They were looking 
in our direction, but evidently did not see us, 
and I soon made out that Lady Muriel had 
for once passed into a condition familiar to 



xix] A FAIRY-DUET. 305 

me, that we were both of us ' eerie ', and that, 
though we could see the children so plainly, 
we were quite invisible to them. 

The song ceased just as they came into 
sight : but, to my delight, Bruno instantly said 
" Let's sing it all again, Sylvie ! It did sound 
so pretty ! " And Sylvie replied " Very well. 
It's you to begin, you know." 

So Bruno began, in the sweet childish treble 
I knew so well : 

"Say, what is tJie spell, when her fledgelings are 

cheeping, 

That hires the bird home to her nest ? 
Or ivakes the tired mother, whose infant is weeping, 

To cuddle and croon it to rest? 
Whafs the magic that charms the glad babe in her 

arms, 
Till it cooes with the voice of the dove ? " 

And now ensued quite the strangest of all 
the strange experiences that marked the won- 
derful year whose history I am writing the 

experience of first hearing Sylvie's voice in 

song. Her part was a very short one only a 

few words and she sang it timidly, and very 

low indeed, scarcely audibly, but the sweetness 

'x 



306 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

of her voice was simply indescribable ; I have 
never heard any earthly music like it. 

" ' Tis a secret, and so let ^^s whisper it low 
A nd the name of the secret is Love ! " 

On me the first effect of her voice was a 
sudden sharp pang that seemed to pierce 
through one's very heart. (I had felt such a 
pang only once before in my life, and it had 
been from seeing what, at the moment, realised 

one's idea of perfect beauty it was in a 

London exhibition, where, in making my way 
through a crowd, I suddenly met, face to face, 
a child of quite unearthly beauty.) Then came 
a rush of burning tears to the eyes, as though 
one could weep one's soul away for pure de- 
light. And lastly there fell on me a sense of 

awe that was almost terror some such feeling 

as Moses must have had when he heard the 
words " Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, 
for the place whereon thou standest is holy 
ground" The figures of the children be- 
came vague and shadowy, like glimmering 
meteors : while their voices rang together in 
exquisite harmony as they sang : 



Xix] A FAIRY-DUET. 307 

" For I think it is Love, 

For I feel it is Love, 
For Pm sure it is notJiing but Love!" 

By this time I could see them clearly once 
more. Bruno again sang by himself: 

" Say, whence is the voice that, when anger is 

burning, 

Bids the whirl of the tempest to cease ? 
That stirs the vexed soul with an aching a 

yearning 

For the brotherly hand-grip of peace ? 
Whence the music that fills all our being th fit- 
thrills 
A round us, beneath, and above ? " 

Sylvie sang more courageously, this time : 
the words seemed to carry her away, out of 
herself : 

" ' Tis a secret : none knows how it comes, how it 

goes : 
But the name of the secret is Love!" 

And clear and strong the chorus rang out : 

" For I think it is Love, 

For I feel it is Love, 
For I'm sure it is nothing but Love ! " 

X 2 



308 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Once more we heard Bruno's delicate little 
voice alone : 

" Say whose is the skill that paints valley and hill, 

Like a picture so fair to the sight ? 
That flecks the green meadow with sunshine and 

shadow, 
Till the little lambs leap with delight ? " 

And again uprose that silvery voice, whose 
angelic sweetness I could hardly bear : 

"'Tts a secret untold to hearts cruel and cold, 

Though 'tis siing, by the angels above, 
In notes that ring clear for the ears that can 

hear 
And the name of the secret is Love!" 

And then Bruno joined in again with 

" For I think it is Love, 

For I feel it is Love, 
For I'm sure it is nothing but Love!" 

" That are pretty ! " the little fellow exclaimed, 

as the children passed us so closely that we 

drew back a little to make room for them, and 
it seemed we had only to reach out a hand to 
touch them : but this we did not attempt. 



xix] A FAIRY-DUET. 309 

" No use to try and stop them ! " I said, as 
they passed away into the shadows. "Why, 
they could not even see us ! " 

" No use at all," Lady Muriel echoed with a 
sigh. " One would like to meet them again, in 
living form ! But I feel, somehow, that can 
never be. They have passed out of our lives ! " 
She sighed again ; and no more was said, till 
we came out into the main road, at a point 
near my lodgings. 

"Well, I will leave you here," she said. " I 
want to get back before dark : and I have a 
cottage-friend to visit, first. Good night, dear 

friend ! Let us see you soon and often ! " 

she added, with an affectionate warmth that 
went to my very heart. "For those are few 
we hold as dear ! " 

" Good night ! " I answered. " Tennyson 
said that of a worthier friend than me." 

" Tennyson didn't know what he was talking 
about ! " she saucily rejoined, with a touch of 
her old childish gaiety ; and we parted. 



CHAPTER XX. 

GAMMON AND SPINACH. 

MY landlady's welcome had an extra hearti- 
ness about it : and though, with a rare delicacy 
of feeling, she made no direct allusion to the 
friend whose companionship had done so much 
to brighten life for me, I felt sure that it was a 
kindly sympathy with my solitary state that 
made her so specially anxious to do all she 
could think of to ensure my comfort, and make 
me feel at home. 

The lonely evening seemed long and tedious : 
yet I lingered on, watching the dying fire, and 
letting Fancy mould the red embers into the 



xx] GAMMON AND SPINACH. 311 

forms and faces belonging to bygone scenes. 
Now it seemed to be Bruno's roguish smile 
that sparkled for a moment, and died away : 
now it was Sylvie's rosy cheek : and now the 
Professor's jolly round face, beaming with deT 
light. " You're welcome, my little ones ! " he 
seemed to say. And then the red coal, which 
for the moment embodied the dear old Pro- 
fessor, began to wax dim, and with its dying 
lustre the words seemed to die away into si- 
lence. I seized the poker, and with an artful 
touch or two revived the waning glow, while 

Fancy no coy minstrel she sang me once 

again the magic strain I loved to hear. 

" You're welcome, little ones ! " the cheery 
voice repeated. " I told them you were 
coming. Your rooms are all ready for you. 

And the Emperor and the Empress well, 

I think they're rather pleased than otherwise ! 
In fact, Her Highness said ' I hope they'll be 
in time for the Banquet ! ' . Those were her 
very words, I assure you ! " 

"Will Uggug be at the Banquet?" Bruno 
asked. And both children looked uneasy at the 
dismal suggestion. 



312 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Why, of course he will ! " chuckled the Pro- 
fessor. " Why, it's his birthday, don't you 
know ? And his health will be drunk, and all 
that sort of thing. What would the Banquet be 
without him ? " 

" Ever so much nicer," said Bruno. But he 
said it in a very low voice, and nobody but 
Sylvie heard him. 

The Professor chuckled again. " It'll be a 
jolly Banquet, now you've come, my little man ! 
I am so glad to see you again ! " 

" I 'fraid we've been very long in coming," 
Bruno politely remarked. 

" Well, yes," the Professor assented. " How- 
ever, you're very short now you're come : that's 
some comfort." And he went on to enumerate 
the plans for the day. " The Lecture comes 
first," he said. " That the Empress insists on. 
She says people will eat so much at the Ban- 
quet, they'll be too sleepy to attend to the 

Lecture afterwards and perhaps she's right. 

There'll just be a little refreshment, when the 

people first arrive as a kind of surprise 

for the Empress, you know. Ever since 
she's been well, not quite so clever as she 



xx] GAMMON AND SPINACH. 313 

once was we've found it desirable to con- 
coct little surprises for her. Then comes the 
Lecture 

" What ? The Lecture you were getting 
ready ever so long ago ? " Sylvie enquired. 

" Yes that's the one," the Professor rather 

reluctantly admitted. " It has taken a goodish 
time to prepare. I've got so many other 
things to attend to. For instance, I'm Court- 
Physician. I have to keep all the Royal 

Servants in good health and that reminds 

me ! " he cried, ringing the bell in a great 
hurry. " This is Medicine-Day ! We only 
give Medicine once a week. If we were to 
begin giving it every day, the bottles would 
soon be empty ! " 

" But if they were ill on the other days ? " 
Sylvie suggested. 

" What, ill on the wrong day /" exclaimed 
the Professor. " Oh, that would never do ! 
A Servant would be dismissed at once, who 
was ill on the wrong day ! This is the Medi- 
cine for today," he went on, taking down a 
large jug from a shelf. " I mixed it, myself, 
first thing this morning. Taste it ! " he said, 



314 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

holding out the jug to Bruno. " Dip in your 
finger, and taste it ! " 

Bruno did so, and made such an excru- 
ciatingly wry face that Sylvie exclaimed, in 
alarm, " Oh, Bruno, you mustn't ! " 

"It's welly extremely nasty!" Bruno said, 
as his face resumed its natural shape. 

"Nasty?" said the Professor. "Why, of 
course it is ! What would Medicine be, if it 
wasn't nasty ? " 

" Nice," said Bruno. 

" I was going to say the Professor 
faltered, rather taken aback by the prompt- 
ness of Bruno's reply, " that that would 

never do ! Medicine has to be nasty, you 
know. Be good enough to take this jug, 
down into the Servants' Hall," he said to the 
footman who answered the bell : " and tell 
them it's their Medicine for today" 

11 Which of them is to drink it ? " the foot- 
man asked, as he carried off the jug. 

"Oh, I've not settled that yet!" the Pro- 
fessor briskly replied. " I'll come and settle 
that, soon. Tell them not to begin, on any 
account, till I come! It's really wonderful" 



XX] GAMMON AND SPINACH. 315 

he said, turning to the children, "the suc- 
cess I've had in curing Diseases! Here are 
some of my memoranda." He took down 
from the shelf a heap of little bits of paper, 
pinned together in twos and threes. "Just 
look at this set, now. ' Under-Cook Number 
Thirteen recovered from Common Fever Fe- 
bris Communist And now see what's pinned 
to it. ' Gave Under-Cook Number Thirteen a 
Double Dose of Medicine' That ' s something 
to be proud of, isnt it ? " 

"But which happened first ?" said Sylvie, 
looking very much puzzled. 

The Professor examined the papers care- 
fully. "They are not dated, I find," he said 
with a slightly dejected air : " so I fear I ca'n't 
tell you. But they both happened : there's no 
doubt of that. The Medicine s the great thing, 
you know. The Diseases are much less im- 
portant. You can keep a Medicine, for years 
and years : but nobody ever wants to keep 
a Disease ! By the way, come and look at 
the platform. The Gardener asked me to 
come and see if it would do. We may as 
well go before it gets dark." 



316 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" We'd like to, very much ! " Sylvie replied. 
" Come, Bruno, put on your hat. Don't keep 
the dear Professor waiting!" 

"Can't find my hat!" the little fellow sadly 
replied. " I were rolling it about. And it's 
rolled itself away ! " 

" Maybe it's rolled in there" Sylvie sug- 
gested, pointing to a dark recess, the door of 
which stood half open : and Bruno ran in to 
look. After a minute he came slowly out 
again, looking very grave, and carefully shut 
the cupboard-door after him. 

" It aren't in there," he said, with such un- 
usual solemnity, that Sylvie's curiosity was 
roused. 

" What is in there, Bruno ? " 

" There's cobwebs and two spiders- 
Bruno thoughtfully replied, checking off the 

catalogue on his fingers, " and the cover 

of a picture-book and a tortoise and a 

dish of nuts and an old man." 

"An old man!" cried the Professor, trotting 
across the room in great excitement. " Why, 
it must be the Other Professor, that's been lost 
for ever so long ! " 



XX] 



GAMMON AND SPINACH. 



317 



He opened the 
door of the cup- 
board wide : and 
there he was, the 
Other Professor, 
sitting in a chair, 
with a book on 
his knee, and in 
the act of help- 
ing himself to a 
nut from a dish, 
which he had ta- 
ken down off a 
shelf just within 
his reach. He 
looked round at 
us, but said nothing till he had cracked and 
eaten the nut. Then he asked the old ques- 
tion. " Is the Lecture all ready?" 

" It'll begin in an hour," the Professor said, 
evading the question. " First, we must have 
something to surprise the Empress. And then 

comes the Banquet 

" The Banquet ! " cried the Other Professor, 
springing up, and filling the room with a cloud 




318 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

of dust. Then I'd better go and and brush 

myself a little. What a state I'm in ! " 

" He does want brushing ! " the Professor 
said, with a critical air, " Here's your hat, little 
man! I had put it on by mistake. I'd quite 
forgotten I had one on, already. Let's go 
and look at the platform." 

"And there's that nice old Gardener sing- 
ing still!" Bruno exclaimed in delight, as we 
went out into the garden. " I do believe he's 
been singing that very song ever since we 
went away ! " 

" Why, of course he has ! " replied the Pro- 
fessor. "It wouldn't be the thing to leave off, 
you know." 

" Wouldn't be what thing ? " said Bruno : 
but the Professor thought it best not to hear 
the question. " What are you doing with that 
hedgehog ? " he shouted at the Gardener, whom 
they found standing upon one foot, singing 
softly to himself, and rolling a hedgehog up 
and down with the other foot. 

"Well, I wanted fur to know what hedge- 
hogs lives on : so I be a-keeping this here 
hedgehog fur to see if it eats potatoes 



xx] GAMMON AND SPINACH. 319 

" Much better keep a potato," said the Pro- 
fessor ; " and see if hedgehogs eat it ! " 

"That be the roight way, sure-ly!" the de- 
lighted Gardener exclaimed. " Be you come 
to see the platform ? " 

"Aye, aye!" the Professor cheerily replied 
" And the children have come back, you see ! " 

The Gardener looked round at them with a 
grin. Then he led the way to the Pavilion ; 
and as he went he sang : 

"He looked again, and found it was 

A Double Rule of Three : 
' And all its Mystery' he said, 
Is clear as day to me ! ' ' 

" You've been months over that song," said 
the Professor. " Isn't it finished yet ?" 

" There be only one verse more," the Gar- 
dener sadly replied. And, with tears streaming 
down his cheeks, he sang the last verse : 

" He thought he saw an Argument 
That proved he was tJie Pope : 
He looked again, and found it was 

A Bar of Mottled Soap. 
' A fact so dread,' he faintly said, 
' Extinguishes all hope ! ' ' 



320 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Choking with sobs, the Gardener hastily 
stepped on a few yards ahead of the party, 
to conceal his emotion. 

"Did he see the Bar of Mottled Soap?" 
Sylvie enquired, as we followed. 

" Oh, certainly ! " said the Professor. " That 
song is his own history, you know." 

Tears of an ever-ready sympathy glittered 
in Bruno's eyes. " Ps welly sorry he isn't the 
Pope ! " he said. " Aren't you sorry, Sylvie ? " 

"Well 1 hardly know," Sylvie replied in 

the vaguest manner. " Would it make him 
any happier ? " she asked the Professor. 

"It wouldn't make the Pope any happier," 
said the Professor. " Isn't the platform lovely ?" 
he asked, as we entered the Pavilion. 

" I've put an extra beam under it!" said the 
Gardener, paUing it affectionately as he spoke. 

" And now it's that strong, as as a mad 

elephant might dance upon it ! " 

" Thank you very much ! " the Professor 
heartily rejoined. " I don't know that we shall 

exactly require but it's convenient to know." 

And he led the children upon the platform, to 
explain the arrangements to them. " Here are 



xx] GAMMON AND SPINACH. 321 

three seats, you see, for the Emperor and the 
Empress and Prince Uggug. But there must 
be two more chairs here ! " he said, looking 
down at the Gardener. " One for Lady Sylvie, 
and one for the smaller animal ! " 

" And may I help in the Lecture ? " said 
Bruno. " I can do some conjuring-tricks." 

" Well, it's not exactly a conjuring lecture," 
the Professor said, as he arranged some curious- 
looking machines on the table. " However, 
what can you do ? Did you ever go through a 
table, for instance ? " 

" Often ! " said Bruno. " Haven t I, Sylvie ?" 

The Professor was evidently surprised, though 
he tried not to show it. " This must be looked 
into," he muttered to himself, taking out a note- 
book. " And first what kind of table ? " 

" Tell him ! " Bruno whispered to Sylvie, 
putting his arms round her neck. 

" Tell him yourself," said Sylvie. 

" Can't," said Bruno. " It's a bony word." 

" Nonsense ! " laughed Sylvie. " You can 
say it well enough, if you only try. Come ! " 

"Muddle " said Bruno. "That's a bit 

of it." 



322 SYLV1E AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" What does he say ? " cried the bewildered 
Professor. 

" He means the multiplication-table," Sylvie 
explained. 

The Professor looked annoyed, and shut up 
his note-book again. " Oh, that's quite another 
thing," he said. 

" It are ever so many other things," said 
Bruno. " Arerit it, Sylvie ? " 

A loud blast of trumpets interrupted this 
conversation. " Why, the entertainment has 
begun / " the Professor exclaimed, as he hur- 
ried the children into the Reception-Saloon. 
" I had no idea it was so late ! " 

A small table, containing cake and wine, 
stood in a corner of the Saloon ; and here we 
found the Emperor and Empress waiting for 
us. The rest of the Saloon had been cleared 
of furniture, to make room for the guests. 
I was much struck by the great change a few 
months had made in the faces of the Impe- 
rial Pair. A vacant stare was now the Em- 
peror s usual expression ; while over the face 
of the Empress there flitted, ever and anon, 
a meaningless smile. 



xx] GAMMON AND SPINACH. 323 

" So you're come at last ! " the Emperor 
sulkily remarked, as the Professor and the 
children took their places. It was evident that 
he was very much out of temper : and we were 
not long in learning the cause of this. He did 
not consider the preparations, made for the 
Imperial party, to be such as suited their 
rank. " A common mahogany table ! " he 
growled, pointing to it contemptuously with 
his thumb. " Why wasn't it made of gold, I 
should like to know ? " 

" It would have taken a very long " the 

Professor began, but the Emperor cut the 
sentence short. 

" Then the cake 1 Ordinary plum ! Why 

wasn't it made of of " He broke off 

again. " Then the wine ! Merely old Madeira ! 

Why wasn't it ? Then this chair ! That's 

worst of all. Why wasn't it a throne ? One 
might excuse the other omissions, but I cant 
get over the chair ! " 

" W'hat / ca'n't get over," said the Empress, 
in eager sympathy with her angry husband, " is 
the table ! " 

" Pooh !" said the Emperor. 

Y 2 



324 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

"It is much to be regretted ! " the Professor 
mildly replied, as soon as he had a chance 
of speaking. After a moment's thought he 
strengthened the remark. "Everything" he 
said, addressing Society in general, " is very 
much to be regretted ! " 

A murmur of " Hear, hear ! " rose from the 
crowded Saloon. 

There was a rather awkward pause : ' the 
Professor evidently didn't know how to begin. 
The Empress leant forwards, and whispered to 
him. "A few jokes, you know, Professor- 
just to put people at their ease ! " 

" True, true, Madam ! " the Professor meekly 
replied. " This little boy 

" Please don't make any jokes about me / " 
Bruno exclaimed, his eyes filling with tears. 

" I won't if you'd rather I didn't," said the 
kind-hearted Professor. "It was only some- 
thing about a Ship's Buoy : a harmless pun- 
but it doesn't matter." Here he turned to the 
crowd and addressed them in a loud voice. 
"Learn your A's!" he shouted. "Your B's! 
Your C's ! And your D's ! Then you'll be at 
your ease ! " 



xx] GAMMON AND SPINACH. 325 

There was a roar of laughter from all the 
assembly, and then a great deal of confused 
whispering. " What was it he said ? Some- 
thing about bees, I fancy ." 

The Empress smiled in her meaningless 
way, and fanned herself. The poor Professor 
looked at her timidly : he was clearly at his 
wits' end again, and hoping for another hint. 
The Empress whispered again. 

" Some spinach, you know, Professor, as a 
surprise." 

The Professor beckoned to the Head-Cook, 
and said something to him in a low voice. 
Then the Head-Cook left the room, followed 
by all the other cooks. 

"It's difficult to get things started," the Pro- 
fessor remarked to Bruno. " When once we 
get started, it'll go on all right, you'll see." 

" If oo want to startle people," said Bruno, 
"oo should put live frogs on their backs." 

Here the cooks all came in again, in a 
procession, the Head-Cook coming last and 
carrying something, which the others tried to 
hide by waving flags all round it. " Nothing 
but flags, Your Imperial Highness! Nothing 



326 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




xx] GAMMON AND SPINACH. 327 

but flags ! " he kept repeating, as he set it 
before her. Then all the flags were dropped 
in a moment, as the Head-Cook raised the 
cover from an enormous dish. 

" What is it ? " the Empress said faintly, as 
she put her spy-glass to her eye. " Why, it's 
Spinach, I declare ! " 

" Her Imperial Highness is surprised," the 
Professor explained to the attendants : and 
some of them clapped their hands. The 
Head-Cook made a low bow, and in doing 
so dropped a spoon on the table, as if by 
accident, just within reach of the Empress, 
who looked the other way and pretended not 
to see it. 

" I am surprised ! " the Empress said to 
Bruno. " Aren't you ? " 

"Not a bit," said Bruno. "I heard " 

but Sylvie put her hand over his mouth, and 
spoke for him. " He's rather tired, I think. 
He wants the Lecture to begin." 

" I want the supper to begin," Bruno cor- 
rected her. 

The Empress took up the spoon in an 
absent manner, and tried to balance it across 



328 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

the back of her hand, and in doing this she 
dropped it into the dish : and, when she took 
it out again, it was full of spinach. " How 
curious ! " she said, and put it into her mouth. 
" It tastes just like real spinach ! I thought it 

was an imitation but I do believe it's real ! " 

And she took another spoonful. 

"It wo'n't be real much longer," said Bruno. 

But the Empress had had enough spinach 

by this time, and somehow 1 failed to notice 

the exact process we all found ourselves in 

the Pavilion, and the Professor in the act of 
beginning the long-expected Lecture. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

THE PROFESSOR'S LECTURE. 

" IN Science in fact, in most things it is 

usually best to begin at the beginning. In some 
things, of course, it's better to begin at the 
other end. For instance, if you wanted to 
paint a dog green, it might be best to begin 
with the tail, as it doesn't bite at that end. 
And so " 

" May / help oo ?" Bruno interrupted. 

"Help me to do what?" said the puzzled 
Professor, looking up for a moment, but keep- 
ing his finger on the book he was reading from, 
so as not to lose his place. 



330 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" To paint a dog green ! " cried Bruno. " Oo 
can begin wiz its mouf, and I'll 

" No, no ! " said the Professor. " We haven't 
got to the Experiments yet. And so," return- 
ing to his note-book, " I'll give you the Axioms 
of Science. After that I shall exhibit some 
Specimens. Then I shall explain a Process or 
two. And I shall conclude with a few Ex- 
periments. An Axiom, you know, is a thing 
that you accept without contradiction. For 
instance, if I were to say ' Here we are ! ', that 
would be accepted without any contradiction, 
and it's a nice sort of remark to begin a con- 
versation with. So it would be an Axiom. Or 
again, supposing I were to say ' Here we are 
not ! '. that would be 

" a fib ! " cried Bruno. 

" Oh, Bruno ! " said Sylvie in a warning 
whisper. " Of course it would be an Axiom, 
if the Professor said it ! " 

" that would be accepted, if people were 

civil," continued the Professor ; " so it would 
be another Axiom." 

" It might be an Axledum," Bruno said : 
" but it wouldn't be true f" 



Xxi] THE PROFESSOR'S LECTURE. 331 

" Ignorance of Axioms," the Lecturer con- 
tinued, " is a great drawback in life. It wastes 
so much time to have to say them over and 
over again. For instance, take the Axiom 'No- 
thing is greater than itself ; that is, ' Nothing 
can contain itself' How often you hear people 
say ' He was so excited, he was quite unable 
to contain himself.' Why, of course he was 
unable ! The excitement had nothing to do 
with it ! " 

" I say, look here, you know ! " said the 
Emperor, who was getting a little restless. 
" How many Axioms are you going to give 
us ? At this rate, we sha'n't get to the Experi- 
ments till to-morrow-week ! " 

" Oh, sooner than that, I assure you ! " the 
Professor replied, looking up in alarm. " There 
are only," (he referred to his notes again) " only 
two more, that are really necessary." 

" Read 'em out, and get on to the Speci- 
mens" grumbled the Emperor. 

" The First Axiom," the Professor read out 
in a great hurry, " consists of these words, 
' Whatever is, is.' And the Second consists of 
these words, ' Whatever isrit, isrit? We will 



332 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

now go on to the Specimens. The first tray 
contains Crystals and other Things." He 
drew it towards him, and again referred to his 

note-book. " Some of the labels owing to 

insufficient adhesion Here he stopped 

again, and carefully examined the page with 
his eyeglass. " I ca'n't quite read the rest of 
the sentence," he said at last, " but it means 
that the labels have come loose, and the Things 
have got mixed 

" Let me stick 'em on again ! " cried Bruno 
eagerly, and began licking them, like postage- 
stamps, and dabbing them down upon the Crys- 
tals and the other Things. But the Professor 
hastily moved the tray out of his reach. " They 
might get fixed to the wrong Specimens, you 
know ! " he said. 

" Oo shouldn't have any wrong peppermints 
in the tray ! " Bruno boldly replied. " Should 
he, Sylvie ? " 

But Sylvie only shook her head. 

The Professor heard him not. He had taken 
up one of the bottles, and was carefully reading 
the label through his eye-glass. " Our first 
Specimen " he announced, as he placed the 



xxi] THE PROFESSOR'S LECTURE. 333 

bottle in front of the other Things, " is that 

is, it is called " here he took it up, and 

examined the label again, as if he thought 
it might have changed since he last saw it, 

" is called Aqua Pura common water the 

fluid that cheers " 

"Hip! Hip! Hip!" the Head-Cook began 
enthusiastically. 

" but not inebriates ! " the Professor went 

on quickly, but only just in time to check 
the " Hooroar ! " which was beginning. 

" Our second Specimen," he went on, care- 
fully opening a small jar, " is " here he 

removed the lid, and a large beetle instantly 
darted out, and with an angry buzz went 

straight out of the Pavilion, " is -or rather, 

I should say," looking sadly into the empty 

jar, "it was a curious kind of Blue Beetle. 

Did any one happen to remark as it went 

past three blue spots under each wing?" 

Nobody had remarked them. 

" Ah, well ! " the Professor said with a sigh. 
"It's a pity. Unless you remark that kind of 
thing at the moment, it's very apt to get over- 
looked ! The next Specimen, at any rate, will 



334 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

not fly away! It is in short, or perhaps, 

more correctly, at length an Elephant. You 

will observe ." Here he beckoned to the 

Gardener to come up on the platform, and with 
his help began putting together what looked 
like an enormous dog-kennel, with short tubes 
projecting out of it on both sides. 

" But we've seen Elephants before," the 
Emperor grumbled. 

" Yes, but not through a Megaloscope ! " the 
Professor eagerly replied. " You know you 
can't see a Flea, properly, without a magnify- 

z/^-glass what we call a Microscope. Well, 

just in the same way, you ca'n't see an Ele- 
phant, properly, without a mimmi/yzng--g\ass. 
There's one in each of these little tubes. And 
this is a Megaloscope ! The Gardener will 
now bring in the next Specimen. Please open 
both curtains, down at the end there, and make 
way for the Elephant ! " 

There was a general rush to the sides of the 
Pavilion, and all eyes were turned to the open 
end, watching for the return of the Gardener, 
who had gone away singing " He thought he 
saw an Elephant That practised on a Fife ! " 



xxi] 



THE PROFESSOR'S LECTURE. 



335 



There was silence for a minute : and then his 
harsh voice was heard again in the distance. 

" He looked again come up, then ! He looked 

again, and found it was woa back ! and 

found it was A letter from his make way 

there ! He's a-coming ! " 




And in marched, or waddled it is hard to 

say which is the right word an Elephant, on 

its hind-legs, and playing on an enormous fife 
which it held with its fore-feet 



336 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

The Professor hastily threw open a large 
door at the end of the Megaloscope, and the 
huge animal, at a signal from the Gardener, 
dropped the fife, and obediently trotted into 
the machine, the door of which was at once 
shut by the Professor. " The Specimen is 
now ready for observation ! " he proclaimed. 
"It is exactly the size of the Common Mouse 

Mus Communis ! " 

There was a general rush to the tubes, 
and the spectators watched with delight the 
minikin creature, as it playfully coiled its trunk 
round the Professor's extended finger, finally 
taking its stand upon the palm of his hand, 
while he carefully lifted it out, and carried it off 
to exhibit to the Imperial party. 

" Isn't it a darling ? " cried Bruno. " May I 
stroke it, please ? I'll touch it welly gently ! " 

The Empress inspected it solemnly with her 
eye-glass. " It is very small," she said in a 
deep voice. " Smaller than elephants usually 
are, I believe ? " 

The Professor gave a start of delighted 
surprise. " Why, that's true / " he murmured to 
himself. Then louder, turning to the audience, 



xxi] THE PROFESSOR'S LECTURE. 337 

" Her Imperial Highness has made a remark 
which is perfectly sensible ! " And a wild cheer 
arose from that vast multitude. 

" The next Specimen," the Professor pro- 
claimed, after carefully placing the little Ele- 
phant in the tray, among the Crystals and 
other Things, " is a Flea, which we will enlarge 
for the purposes of observation." Taking a 
small pill-box from the tray, he advanced to 
the Megaloscope, and reversed all the tubes. 
" The Specimen is ready ! " he cried, with his 
eye at one of the tubes, while he carefully 
emptied the pill-box through a little hole at the 
side. " It is now the size of the Common 
Horse Equus Communis ! " 

There was another general rush, to look 
through the tubes, and the Pavilion rang with 
shouts of delight, through which the Professor's 
anxious tones could scarcely be heard. " Keep 
the door of the Microscope shut /" he cried. 
"If the creature were to escape, this size, it 

would " But the mischief was done. The 

door had swung open, and in another moment 
the Monster had got out, and was trampling 
down the terrified, shrieking spectators. 

z 



338 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

But the Professor's presence of mind did not 
desert him. " Undraw those curtains ! " he 
shouted. It was done. The Monster gathered 
its legs together, and in one tremendous bound 
vanished into the sky. 

" Where is it ? " said the Emperor, rubbing 
his eyes. 

"In the next Province, I fancy," the Pro- 
fessor replied. " That jump would take it at 
least five miles ! The next thing is to ex- 
plain a Process or two. But I find there is 

hardly room enough to operate the smaller 

animal is rather in my way " 

<( Who does he mean ? " Bruno whispered 
to Sylvie. 

"He means you ! " Sylvie whispered back. 
"Hush!" 

" Be kind enough to move angularly 

to this corner," the Professor said, addressing 
himself to Bruno. 

Bruno hastily moved his chair in the direc- 
tion indicated. " Did I move angrily enough ? " 
he inquired. But the Professor was once more 
absorbed in his Lecture, which he was reading 
from his note-book. 



XXI] THE PROFESSOR'S LECTURE. 339 

" I will now explain the Process of the 

name is blotted, I'm sorry to say. It will 

be illustrated by a number of of " here 

he examined the page for some time, and 
at last said " It seems to be either ' Ex- 
periments ' or ' Specimens ' " 

" Let it be Experiments" said the Emperor. 
" We've seen plenty of Specimens!' 

" Certainly, certainly ! " the Professor as- 
sented. " We will have some Experiments." 

" May / do them ? " Bruno eagerly asked. 

" Oh dear no ! " The Professor looked dis- 
mayed. " I really don't know what would 
happen if you did them ! " 

" Nor nobody doosn't know what'll happen 
if oo doos them ! " Bruno retorted. 

" Our First Experiment requires a Machine. 

It has two knobs only two you can count 

thern, if you like." 

The Head-Cook stepped forwards, counted 
them, and retired satisfied. 

" Now you might press those two knobs to- 
gether but that's not the way to do it. Or 

you might turn the Machine upside-down 

but that's not the way to do it ! " 

z 2 



340 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" What are the way to do it ? " said Bruno, 
who was listening very attentively. 

The Professor smiled benignantly. " Ah, 
yes ! " he said, in a voice like the heading of a 
chapter. " The Way To Do It ! Permit me ! " 
and in a moment he had whisked Bruno upon 
the table. " I divide my subject," he began, 
" into three parts " 

" I think I'll get down !" Bruno whispered to 
Sylvie. " It aren't nice to be divided ! " 

" He hasn't got a knife, silly boy ! " Sylvie 
whispered in reply. " Stand still ! You'll break 
all the bottles ! " 

" The first part is to take hold of the knobs," 
putting them into Bruno's hands. " The second 
part is Here he turned the handle, and, 

with a loud " Oh ! ", Bruno dropped both the 
knobs, and began rubbing his elbows. 

The Professor chuckled in delight. "It had 
a sensible effect Hadrit it ? " he enquired. 

" No, it hadn't a sensible effect ! " Bruno said 
indignantly. " It were very silly indeed. It 
jingled my elbows, and it banged my back, 
and it crinkled my hair, and it buzzed among 
my bones!" 



xxi] THE PROFESSOR'S LECTURE. 341 

"I'm sure it didrit!" said Sylvie. "You're 
only inventing ! " 

" Oo doosn't know nuffin about it ! " Bruno 
replied. " Oo wasn't there to see. Nobody 
ca'n't go among my bones. There isn't room ! " 

" Our Second Experiment," the Professor 
announced, as Bruno returned to his place, still 
thoughtfully rubbing his elbows, " is the pro- 
duction of that seldom-seen-but-greatly-to-be- 
admired phenomenon, Black Light ! You have 
seen White Light, Red Light, Green Light, and 
so on : but never, till this wonderful day, have 
any eyes but mine seen Black Light ! This 
box," carefully lifting it upon the table, and 
covering it with a heap of blankets, " is quite 

full of it. The way I made it was this 1 

took a lighted candle into a dark cupboard and 
shut the door. Of course the cupboard was 
then full of Yellow Light. Then I took a bottle 
of Black ink, and poured it over the candle : 
and, to my delight, every atom of the Yellow 
Light turned Black ! That was indeed the 
proudest moment of my life ! Then I filled a 

box with it. And now would any one like 

to get under the blankets and see it ? " 



342 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

Dead silence followed this appeal : but at last 
Bruno said " /'// get under, if it won't jingle 
my elbows." 

Satisfied on this point, Bruno crawled .under 
the blankets, and, after a minute or two, crawled 
out again, very hot and dusty, and with his hair 
in the wildest confusion. 

" What did you see in the box ? " Sylvie 
eagerly enquired. 

"I saw nuffinf" Bruno sadly replied. "It 
were too dark ! " 

" He has described the appearance of the 
thing exactly ! " the Professor exclaimed with 
enthusiasm. " Black Light, and Nothing, look 
so extremely alike, at first sight, that I don't 
wonder he failed to distinguish them ! We will 
now proceed to the Third Experiment." 

The Professor came down, and led the way 
to where a post had been driven firmly into 
the ground. To one side of the post was 
fastened a chain, with an iron weight hooked 
on to the end of it, and from the other side 
projected a piece of whalebone, with a ring 
at the end of it. " This is a most interesting 
Experiment!" the Professor announced. "It 



xxi] THE PROFESSOR'S LECTURE. 343 

will need time, I'm afraid : but that is a trifling 
disadvantage. Now observe. If I were to un- 
hook this weight, and let go, it would fall to the 
ground. You do not deny that ? " 

Nobody denied it. 

"And in the same way, if I were to bend 

this piece of whalebone round the post thus 

and put the ring over this hook thus it 

stays bent : but, if I unhook it, it straightens 
itself again. You do not deny that?" 

Again, nobody denied it. 

" Well, now, suppose we left things just as 
they are, for a long time. The force of the 
whalebone would get exhausted, you know, and 
it would stay bent, even when you unhooked it. 
Now, why shouldn't the same thing happen 
with the weight ? The whalebone gets so 
used to being bent, that it ca'n't straighten 
itself any more. Why shouldn't the weight 
get so used to being held up, that it ca'n't fall 
any more ? That's what / want to know ! " 

" That's what we want to know ! " echoed 
the crowd. 

" How long must we wait ? " grumbled the 
Emperor. 



344 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

The Professor looked at his watch. "Well, 
I think a thousand years will do to begin with," 
he said. " Then we will cautiously unhook 
the weight : and, if it still shows (as perhaps 
it will) a slight tendency to fall, we will hook 
it on to the chain again, and leave it for 
another thousand years." 

Here the Empress experienced one of those 
flashes of Common Sense which were the sur- 
prise of all around her. " Meanwhile there'll 
be time for another Experiment," she said. 

"There will indeed/" cried the delighted 
Professor. " Let us return to the platform, and 
proceed to the Fourth Experiment ! " 

" For this concluding Experiment, I will take 

a certain Alkali, or Acid 1 forget which. 

Now you'll see what will happen when I mix 
it with Some ' here he took up a bottle, 

and looked at it doubtfully, " when I mix 

it with with Something 

Here the Emperor interrupted. " What's the 
name of the stuff?" he asked. 

" I don't remember the name" said the Pro- 
fessor : "and the label has come off/' He 
emptied it quickly into the other bottle, and, 



xxi] 



THE PROFESSOR'S LECTURE. 



345 




with a tremendous bang, both bottles flew to 
pieces, upsetting all the machines, and filling 
the Pavilion with thick black smoke. I sprang 

to my feet in terror, and and found myself 

standing before my solitary hearth, where the 
poker, dropping at last from the hand of the 
sleeper, had knocked over the tcngs and the 
shovel, and had upset the kettle, filling the air 
with clouds of steam. With a weary sigh, I 
betook myself to bed. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

THE BANQUET. 

" Heaviness may endure for a night : but joy 
comet h in the morning." The next day found 
me quite another being. Even the memories of 
my lost friend and companion were sunny as 
the genial weather that smiled around me. I 
did not venture to trouble Lady Muriel, or her 
father, with another call so soon : but took a 
walk into the country, and only turned home- 
wards when the low sunbeams warned me that 
day would soon be over. 

On my way home, I passed the cottage where 
the old man lived, whose face always recalled 



XXII] THE BANQUET. 347 

to me the day when I first met Lady Muriel ; 
and I glanced in as I passed, half-curious to see 
if he were still living there. 

Yes : the old man was still alive. He was 
sitting out in the porch, looking just as he did 

when I first saw him at Fay field Junction 

it seemed only a few days ago ! 

" Good evening ! " I said, pausing. 

" Good evening, Maister ! " he cheerfully 
responded. " Won't ee step in ? " 

I stepped in, and took a seat on the bench 
in the porch. " I'm glad to see you looking 
so hearty," I began. " Last time, I remember, 
I chanced to pass just as Lady Muriel was 
coming away from the house. Does she still 
come to see you ? " 

" Ees," he answered slowly. " She has na 
forgotten me. I don't lose her bonny face for 
many days together. Well I mind the very 
first time she come, after we'd met at Railway 
Station. She told me as she come to mak' 
amends. Dear child! Only think o' that! 
To mak' amends ! " 

" To make amends for what ? " I enquired. 
" What could she have done to need it ? " 



348 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Well, it were loike this, you see ? We were 
both on us a- waiting fur t' train at t' Junction. 
And I had setten mysen down upat t' bench. 
And Station-Maister, he comes and he orders 

me off fur t' mak' room for her Ladyship, 

you understand ? " 

" I remember it all," I said. " I was there 
myself, that day." 

" Was you, now ? Well, an' she axes my 
pardon fur 't. Think o' that, now ! My pardon ! 
An owd ne'er-do-weel like me ! Ah ! She's 
been here many a time, sin' then. Why, she 
were in here only yestere'en, as it were, a- 
sittin', as it might be, where you're a-sitting 
now, an' lookin' sweeter and kinder nor an 
angel ! An' she says ' You've not got your 
Minnie, now, ' she says, ' to fettle for ye.' 
Minnie was my grand-daughter, Sir, as lived 
wi' me. She died, a matter of two months 

ago or it may be three. She was a bonny 

lass and a good lass, too. Eh, but life has 

been rare an' lonely without her ! " 

He covered his face in his hands : and I 
waited a minute or two, in silence, for him to 
recover himself. 



XXII] THE BANQUET. 349 

" So she says ' Just tak' me fur your Minnie ! ' 
she says. ' Didna Minnie mak' your tea fur 
you?' says she. 'Ay,' says I. An' she mak's 
the tea. * An' didna Minnie light your pipe ? ' 
says she. 'Ay,' says I. An' she lights the 
pipe for me. ' An' didna Minnie set out your 
tea in t' porch ? ' An' I says ' My dear,' I 
says, 'I'm thinking you're Minnie hersen!' 
An' she cries a bit. We both on us cries a 
bit ." 

Again I kept silence for a while. 

" An' while I smokes my pipe, she sits an' 

talks to me as loving an' as pleasant ! I'll 

be bound I thowt it were Minnie come again ! 
An' when she gets up to go, I says ' Winnot ye 
shak' hands wi' me ? ' says I. An' she says 
' Na,' she says: 'a cannot shaft hands wi' 
thee ! ' she says." 

" I'm sorry she said that" I put in, thinking 
it was the only instance I had ever known of 
pride of rank showing itself in Lady Muriel. 

" Bless you, it werena pride ! " said the 
old man, reading my thoughts. " She says 
' Your Minnie never shook hands wi' you ! ' she 
says. 'An' I'm your Minnie now,' she says. 



350 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 



<r 




An' she just puts her dear arms about my 

neck and she kisses me on t' cheek an' 

may God in Heaven bless her ! " And here 
the poor old man broke down entirely, and 
could say no more. 

" God bless her ! " I echoed. " And good 
night to you ! " I pressed his hand, and left 



XXII] THE BANQUET. 351 

him. " Lady Muriel," I said softly to myself 
as I went homewards, " truly you know how 
to ' mak' amends ' ! " 

Seated once more by my lonely fireside, I 
tried to recall the strange vision of the night 
before, and to conjure up the face of the dear 
old Professor among the blazing coals. " That 

black one with just a touch of red would 

suit him well," I thought. " After such a catas- 
trophe, it would be sure to be covered with 
black stains and he would say : 

" The result of that combination you may 

have noticed ? was an Explosion ! Shall I 

repeat the Experiment ? " 

" No, no ! Don't trouble yourself ! " was the 
general cry. And we all trooped off, in hot 
haste, to the Banqueting- Hall, where the feast 
had already begun. 

No time was lost in helping the dishes, and 
very speedily every guest found his plate filled 
with good things. 

" I have always maintained the principle," 
the Professor began, " that it is a good rule 

to take some food occasionally. The great 

advantage of dinner-parties " he broke off 



352 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




Xxn] THE BANQUET. 353 

suddenly. " Why, actually here's the Other 
Professor ! " he cried. " And there's no place 
left for him ! " 

The Other Professor came in reading a large 
book, which he held close to his eyes. One 
result of his not looking where he was going 
was that he tripped up, as he crossed the 
Saloon, flew up into the air, and fell heavily 
on his face in the middle of the table. 

" What a pity ! " cried the kind-hearted Pro- 
fessor, as he helped him up. 

" It wouldn't be me, if I didn't trip," said the 
Other Professor. 

The Professor looked much shocked. " Al- 
most anything would be better than that ! " he 
exclaimed. " It never does," he added, aside 
to Bruno, " to be anybody else, does it ?" 

To which Bruno gravely replied " I's got 
nuffin on my plate." 

The Professor hastily put on his spectacles, 
to make sure that the facts were all right, to 
begin with : then he turned his jolly round 
face upon the unfortunate owner of the empty 
plate. " And what would you like next, 
my little man ? " 

A A 



354 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

"Well," Bruno said, a little doubtfully, "I 
think I'll take some plum-pudding, please 
while I think of it." 

"Oh, Bruno!" (This was a whisper from 
Sylvie.) "It isn't good manners to ask for a 
dish before it comes ! " 

And Bruno whispered back " But I might for- 
get to ask for some, when it comes, oo know 

I do forget things, sometimes," he added, 
seeing Sylvie about to whisper more. 

And this assertion Sylvie did not venture to 
contradict. 

Meanwhile a chair had been placed for the 
Other Professor, between the Empress and 
Sylvie. Sylvie found him a rather uninterest- 
ing neighbour : in fact, she couldn't afterwards 
remember that he had made more than one 
remark to her during the whole banquet, and 
that was "What a comfort a Dictionary is!" 
(She told Bruno, afterwards, that she had been 
too much afraid of him to say more than " Yes, 
Sir," in reply ; and that had been the end of 
their conversation. On which Bruno expressed 
a very decided opinion that that wasn't worth 
calling a ' conversation ' at all. " Oo should 



xxn] THE BANQUET. 355 

have asked him a riddle ! " he added trium- 
phantly. " Why, / asked the Professor three 
riddles ! One was that one you asked me in 
the morning, ' How many pennies is there in 
two shillings ? ' And another was '' Oh, 

Bruno ! " Sylvie interrupted. " That wasn't a 
riddle!" " It were!'" Bruno fiercely replied.) 

By this time a waiter had supplied Bruno 
with a plateful of something, which drove the 
plum-pudding out of his head. 

"Another advantage of dinner-parties," the 
Professor cheerfully explained, for the benefit 
of any one that would listen, " is that it helps 
you to see your friends. If you want to see a 
man, offer him something to eat. It's the same 
rule with a mouse." 

" This Cat's very kind to the Mouses," Bruno 
said, stooping to stroke a remarkably fat speci- 
men of the race, that had just waddled into the 
room, and was rubbing itself affectionately 
against the leg of his chair. " Please, Sylvie, 
pour some milk in your saucer. Pussie's ever 
so thirsty ! " 

" Why do you want my saucer ? " said Sylvie 
" You've got one yourself! " 

A A 2 



356 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

"Yes, I know," said Bruno: "but I wanted 
mine for to give it some more milk in." 

Sylvie looked unconvinced : however it 
seemed quite impossible for her ever to refuse 
what her brother asked : so she quietly filled 
her saucer with milk, and handed it to Bruno, 
who got down off his chair to administer it to 
the cat. 

" The room's very hot, with all this crowd," 
the Professor said to Sylvie. " I wonder why 
they don't put some lumps of ice in the grate ? 
You fill it with lumps of coal in the winter, you 
know, and you sit round it and enjoy the 
warmth. How jolly it would be to fill it now 
with lumps of ice, and sit round it and enjoy 
the coolth ! " 

Hot as it was, Sylvie shivered a little at the 
idea. " It's very cold oiitside" she said. " My 
feet got almost frozen to-day." 

" That's the shoemaker s fault ! " the Pro- 
fessor cheerfully replied. " How often I've 
explained to him that he ought to make boots 
with little iron frames under the soles, to hold 
lamps ! But he never thinks. No one would 
suffer from cold, if only they would think of 



XXH] THE BANQUET. 357 

those little things. I always use hot ink, my- 
self, in the winter. Very few people ever think 
of that I Yet how simple it is ! " 

"Yes, it's very simple," Sylvie said politely. 
"Has the cat had enough?" This was to 
Bruno, who had brought back the saucer only 
half-emptied. 

But Bruno did not hear the question. 
" There's somebody scratching at the door 
and wanting to come in," he said. And he 
scrambled down off his chair, and went and 
cautiously peeped out through the door-way. 

" Who was it wanted to come in ? " Sylvie 
asked, as he returned to his place. 

"It were a Mouse," said Bruno. "And it 
peepted in. And it saw the Cat. And it said 
' I'll come in another day.' And I said ' Oo 
needn't be flightened. The Cat's welly kind 
to Mouses.' And it said ' But I's got some 
imporkant business, what I must attend to. 1 
And it said ' I'll call again to-morrow.' And it 
said ' Give my love to the Cat.' " 

" What a fat cat it is ! " said the Lord Chan- 
cellor, leaning across the Professor to address 
his small neighbour. " It's quite a wonder ! " 



358 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" It was awfully fat when it earned in," said 
Bruno: "so it would be more wonderfuller if 
it got thin all in a minute." 

"And that was the reason, I suppose," the 
Lord Chancellor suggested, "why you didn't 
give it the rest of the milk ? " 

" No," said Bruno. " It were a betterer 
reason. I tooked the saucer up 'cause it were 
so discontented ! " 

"It doesn't look so to me" said the Lord 
Chancellor. "What made you think it was 
discontented ? " 

"'cause it grumbled in its throat." 

"Oh, Bruno!" cried Sylvie. "Why, that's 
the way cats show they ' re pleased!" 

Bruno looked doubtful. " It's not a good 
way," he objected. " Oo wouldn't say / were 
pleased, if I made that noise in my throat ! " 

" What a singular boy ! " the Lord Chan- 
cellor whispered to himself: but Bruno had 
caught the words. 

" What do it mean to say ' a singular boy ' ? " 
he whispered to Sylvie. 

" It means one boy," Sylvie whispered in 
return. " And /;-#/ means two or three." 



xxn] THE BANQUET. 359 

"Then I's welly glad I is a singular boy ! '' 
Bruno said with great emphasis. "It would be 
horrid to be two or three boys ! P'raps they 
wouldn't play with me ! " 

"Why should they?" said the Other Pro- 
fessor, suddenly waking up out of a deep 
reverie. "They might be asleep, you know." 

"Couldn't, if / was awake," Bruno said 
cunningly. 

"Oh, but they might indeed!" the Other 
Professor protested. " Boys don't all go to 
sleep at once, you know. So these boys 
but who are you talking about ? " 

"He never remembers to ask that first ! " the 
Professor whispered to the children. 

"Why, the rest of me, a-course!" Bruno 
exclaimed triumphantly. " Supposing I was 
two or three boys ! " 

The Other Professor sighed, and seemed to 
be sinking back into his reverie ; but suddenly 
brightened up again, and addressed the Pro- 
fessor. " There's nothing more to be done 
now, is there ? " 

"Well, there's the dinner to finish," the Pro- 
fessor said with a bewildered smile : " and the 



360 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

heat to bear. I hope you'll enjoy the dinner 

such as it is ; and that you won't mind the 
heat such as it isn't." 

The sentence sounded well, but somehow I 
couldn't quite understand it ; and the Other 
Professor seemed to be no better off. " Such 
as it isn't what?" he peevishly enquired. 

" It isn't as hot as it might be," the Pro- 
fessor replied, catching at the first idea that 
came to hand. 

"Ah, I see what you mean now I' 1 ' the Other 
Professor graciously remarked. " It's very 
badly expressed, but I quite see it now ! Thir- 
teen minutes and a half ago," he went on, 
looking first at Bruno and then at his watch 
as he spoke, "you said 'this Cat's very kind to 
the Mouses.' It must be a singular animal !" 

" So it are," said Bruno, after carefully ex- 
amining the Cat, to make sure how many there 
were of it. 

" But how do you know it's kind to the 

Mouses or, more correctly speaking, the 

Mice ?" 

" 'cause it plays with the Mouses," said Bruno ; 
" for to amuse them, oo know." 



xxii] THE BANQUET. 361 

" But that is just what I dorit know," the 
Other Professor rejoined. " My belief is, it 
plays with them to kill them ! " 

" Oh, that's quite a accident I " Bruno began, 
so eagerly, that it was evident he had already 
propounded this very difficulty to the Cat. 
"It 'splained all that to me, while it were 
drinking the milk. It said ' I teaches the 
Mouses new games : the Mouses likes it ever 
so much.' It said 'Sometimes little accidents 
happens : sometimes the Mouses kills their- 
selves.' It said ' I's always welly sorry, when 
the Mouses kills theirselves.' It said 

" If it was so very sorry," Sylvie said, rather 
disdainfully, "it wouldn't eat the Mouses after 
they'd killed themselves ! " 

But this difficulty, also, had evidently not 
been lost sight of in the exhaustive ethical dis- 
cussion just concluded. " It said (the 
orator constantly omitted, as superfluous, his 
own share in the dialogue, and merely gave us 
the replies of the Cat) " It said ' Dead Mouses 
never objecks to be eaten.' It said 'There's no 
use wasting good Mouses.' It said ' Wifful 
sumfinoruvver. It said 'And oo may live to 



362 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

say ' How much I wiss I had the Mouse that 
then I frew away !' It said ." 

"It hadn't time to say such a lot of things ! " 
Sylvie interrupted indignantly. 

" Oo doosn't know how Cats speaks ! " Bruno 
rejoined contemptuously. " Cats speaks welly 
quick ! " 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

THE PIG-TALE. 

BY this time the appetites of the guests 
seemed to be nearly satisfied, and even Bruno 
had the resolution to say, when the Professor 
offered him a fourth slice of plum- pudding, 
" I thinks three helpings is enough ! " 

Suddenly the Professor started as if he had 
been electrified. " Why, I had nearly for- 
gotten the most important part of the enter- 
tainment ! The Other Professor is to recite a 
Tale of a Pig 1 mean a Pig-Tale," he cor- 
rected himself. "It has Introductory Verses 
at the beginning, and at the end." 



364 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

"It ca'n't have Introductory Verses at the 
end, can it ? " said Sylvie. 

" Wait till you hear it," said the Professor : 
" then you'll see. I'm not sure it hasn't some 
in the middle, as well." Here he rose to his 
feet, and there was an instant silence through 
the Banqueting-Hall: they evidently expected 
a speech. 

" Ladies, and gentlemen," the Professor 
began, " the Other Professor is so kind as to 
recite a Poem. The title of it is ' The Pig- 
Tale.' He never recited it before ! " (General 
cheering among the guests.) " He will never 
recite it again ! " (Frantic excitement, and wild 
cheering all down the hall, the Professor himself 
mounting the table in hot haste, to lead the 
cheering, and waving his spectacles in one hand 
and a spoon in the other.) 

Then the Other Professor got up, and 
began : 

Little Birds are dining 

Warily and well, 

Hid in mossy cell: 
Hid, 1 say, by waiters 
Gorgeous in their gaiters 

I've a Tale to tell. 



XXIll] 



THE PIG-TALE 



365 




Little Birds are feeding 
Justices with jam, 
Rich in frizzled ham : 
Rich, I say, in oysters 
Haunting shady cloisters 
That is what I am. 

Little Birds are teaching 
Tigresses to smile, 
Innocent of guile : 

Smile, I say, not smirkle 

Month a semicircle, 

That's the proper style ! 



Little Birds are sleeping 
All among the pins, 
Where the loser wins: 
Where, I say, he sneezes 
When and how he pleases 
So the Tale begins. 



jT-~lH_> ^^ 

fflk 
gMpfrt 




366 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

There was a Pig that sat alone 

Beside a ruined Pump : 
By day and night he made his moan 
It would have stirred a heart of stone 
To see him wring his hoofs and groan, 

Because he could not jump. 



A certain Camel heard him shout 

A Camel with a hump. 
" Oh, is it Grief, or is it Gout ? 
What is this bellowing about ? " 
That Pig replied, with quivering snout, 

"Because I cannot jump f" 

That Camel scanned Jiirn, dreamy-eyed. 

" Met/links you are too plump. 
I never knew a Pig so wide 
That wobbled so from side to side 
Who could, however much he tried, 

Do such a thing as jump ! 



" Yet mark those trees, two miles away, 

All clustered in a clump: 
If you could trot there twice a day, 
Nor ever pause for rest or play, 
In the far future Who can say ?- 

You may be fit to jump!' 



xxin] 



THE PIG-TALE. 



367 




That Camel passed, and left him there 

Beside the ruined Pump. 
Oh, horrid was that Pig's despair ! 
His shrieks of anguish filled the air. 
He wrung his hoofs, he rent his hair, 

Because he could not jump. 



There was a Frog that wandered by 

A sleek and shining lump: 
Inspected him with fishy eye, 



368 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

And said " O Pig, what makes you cry ?" 
And bitter was that Pig's reply, 
" Because I cannot jump ! " 

That Frog he grinned a grin of glee, 

And hit his chest a tJiump. 
" O Pig" lie said, " be ruled by me, 
A nd you shall see what you shall see. 
This minute, for a trifling fee, 

Til teach you how to jump ! 

" You may be faint from many a fall, 

And bruised by many a bump: 
But, if you persevere through all, 
And practise first on something small, 
Concluding with a ten-foot wall, 
You'll find that you can jump ! " 

That Pig looked up with joyful start : 

" Oh Frog, you are a trump ! 
Your words have healed my inward smart- 
Come, name your fee and do your part : 
Bring comfort to a broken heart, 
By teaching me to jump ! " 

" My fee shall be a mutton-chop, 

My goal this ruined Pump. 
Observe with what an airy flop 



XXIIl] 



THE PIG-TALE. 



369 



/ plant myself upon the top ! 
Nozv bend your knees and take a hop, 
For that's the way to jump ! " 




Uprose that Pig, and rushed, full whack. 

Against the ruined Pump : 
Rolled over like an empty sack, 
And settled down upon his back, 
While all his bones at once went ' Crack ! ' 

It was a fatal jump. 

B B 



370 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

When the Other Professor had recited this 
Verse, he went across to the fire-place, and 
put his head up the chimney. In doing this, 
he lost his balance, and fell head-first into the 
empty grate, and got so firmly fixed there 
that it was some time before he could be 
dragged out again. 

Bruno had had time to say " I thought he 
wanted to see how many peoples was up 
the chimbley." 

And Sylvie had said " Chimney not 

chimbley." 

And Bruno had said " Don't talk 'ubbish ! " 

All this, while the Other Professor was being 
extracted. 

" You must have blacked your face ! " the 
Empress said anxiously. " Let me send for 
some soap ? " 

" Thanks, no," said the Other Professor, 
keeping his face turned away. " Black's quite 
a respectable colour. Besides, soap would be 
no use without water." 

Keeping his back well turned away from 
the audience, he went on with the Intro- 
ductory Verses ; 



xxm] 



THE PIG-TALE. 



371 




Little Birds are writing 
Interesting books, 
To be read by cooks : 
Read, I say, not roasted 
Letterpress, when toasted, 
Loses its good looks. 

Little Birds are playing 
Bagpipes on the shore, 
Where the tourists snore . 

' Thanks ! " they cry. " ' Tis 
thrilling ! 

Take, oh take this shilling! 
Let us have no more ! " 

Little Birds are bathing 
Crocodiles in cream, 
Like a happy dream : 
Like, but not so lasting 
Crocodiles, when fasting, 
A re not all they seem ! 





372 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




That Camel passed, as Day grew dim 

Around the ruined Pump. 
" O broken heart ! O broken limb ! 
ft needs" that Camel said to him, 
" Something more fairy-like and slim, 

To execute a jump ! " 



That Pig lay still as any stone, 

A nd could not stir a stump : 
Nor ever, if the trutJi were known, 



xxiii] THE PIG-TALE. 

Was lie again observed to moan, 
Nor ever wring liis hoofs and groan, 
Because he could not jump. 

Tliat Frog made no remark, for he 

Was dismal as a dump : 
He knew the consequence must be 
That lie would never get his fee 
And still he sits, in miserie, 
Upon that ruined Pump ! 



373 




"It's a miserable story!" said Bruno. "It 
begins miserably, and it ends miserablier. I 
think I shall cry. Sylvie, please lend me your 
handkerchief." 



374 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" I haven't got it with me," Sylvie whispered. 

" Then I won't cry," said Bruno manfully. 

"There are more Introductory Verses to 
come," said the Other Professor, "but I'm 
hungry." He sat down, cut a large slice 
of cake, put it on Bruno's plate, and gazed 
at his own empty plate in astonishment. 

"Where did you get that cake?" Sylvie 
whispered to Bruno. 

" He gived it me," said Bruno. 

" But you shouldn't ask for things ! You 
know you shouldn't ! " 

" I didrit ask," said Bruno, taking a fresh 
mouthful : " he gived it me." 

Sylvie considered this for a moment : then 
she saw her way out of it. " Well, then, ask 
him to give me some ! " 

" You seem to enjoy that cake ? " the Pro- 
fessor remarked. 

" Doos that mean ' munch ' ? " Bruno whis- 
pered to Sylvie. 

Sylvie nodded. " It means 'to munch' and 
' to like to munch.' ' 

Bruno smiled at the Professor. " I doos 
enjoy it," he said. 



xxni] THE PIG-TALE. 375 

The Other Professor caught the word. " And 
I hope you're enjoying yourself, little Man ? "" 
he enquired. 

Bruno's look of horror quite startled him. 
" No, indeed I aren't!" he said. 

The Other Professor looked thoroughly 
puzzled. " Well, well ! " he said. " Try some 
cowslip wine ! " And he filled a glass and 
handed it to Bruno. " Drink this, my dear,, 
and you'll be quite another man ! " 

" Who shall I be ? " said Bruno, pausing in 
the act of putting it to his lips. 

" Don't ask so many questions ! " Sylvie 
interposed, anxious to save the poor old man 
from further bewilderment. " Suppose we get 
the Professor to tell us a story." 

Bruno adopted the idea with enthusiasm. 
" Please do ! " he cried eagerly. " Sumfin 
about tigers and bumble-bees and robin- 
redbreasts, oo knows ! " 

" Why should you always have live things 
in stories ?" said the Professor. "Why don't 
you have events, or circumstances ? " 

"Q\\ t please invent a story like that! "cried 
Bruno. 



376 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

The Professor began fluently enough. " Once 
a coincidence was taking a walk with a little 

accident, and they met an explanation a very 

old explanation so old that it was quite 

doubled up, and looked more like a conun- 
drum " he broke off suddenly. 

" Please go on ! " both children exclaimed. 

The Professor made a candid confession. 
" It's a very difficult sort to invent, I find. 
Suppose Bruno tells one, first." 

Bruno was only too happy to adopt the 
suggestion. 

" Once there were a Pig, and a Accordion, 
and two Jars of Orange-marmalade 

" The dramatis persons" murmured the 
Professor. " Well, what then ? " 

" So, when the Pig played on the Accordion," 
Bruno went on, " one of the Jars of Orange- 
marmalade didn't like the tune, and the other 
Jar of Orange-marmalade did like the tune 
I know I shall get confused among those Jars 
of Orange-marmalade, Sylvie ! " he whispered 
anxiously. 

" I will now recite the other Introductory 
Verses," said the Other Professor. 



XXIll] 



THE PIG-TALE. 



377 




Little Birds are choking 
Baronets with him, 
Taught to fire a gun : 
TaugJit, I say, to splinter 
Salmon in the zvinter 
Merely for the fun. 

Little Birds are hiding 
Crimes in carpet-bags, 
Blessed by happy stags: 
Blessed, I say, though beaten 
Since our friends are eaten 
When the memory flags. 

Little Birds are tasting 
Gratitude and gold, 
Pale with sudden cold: 
Pale, I say, and wrinkled 
When the bells have tinkled, 
And the Tale is told. 



SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




That Camel passed, as Day grew dim 

Around the ruined Pump. 
" O broken heart ! O broken limb ! 
It needs" that Camel said to him, 
" Something more fairy-like and slim, 

To execute a jump ! " 



That Pig lay still as any stone, 

A nd could not stir a stump : 
Nor ever, if the truth were known, 



XXIII] 



THE PIG-TALE. 



373 



Was lie again observed to moan, 
Nor ever wring his hoofs and groan, 
Because he could not jump. 

That Frog made no remark, for he 

Was dismal as a dump : 
He knew the consequence must be 
That he would never get his fee 
And still he sits, in miser ie, 
Upon that ruined Pump ! 




"It's a miserable story!" said Bruno. " It 
begins miserably, and it ends miserablier. I 
think I shall cry. Sylvie, please lend me your 
handkerchief." 



380 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

The Lord Chancellor wrung his hands in 
despair. " He is mad, good people! " he was 
beginning. But both speeches stopped sud- 
denly and, in the dead silence that followed, 

a knocking was heard at the outer door. 

" What is it ? " was the general cry. People 
began running in and out. The excitement 
increased every moment. The Lord Chancellor, 
forgetting all the rules of Court-ceremony, ran 
full speed down the hall, and in a minute 
returned, pale and gasping for breath. 






CHAPTER XXIV. 

THE BEGGAR'S RETURN. 

" YOUR Imperial Highnesses ! " he began. 
" It's the old Beggar again! Shall we set the 
dogs at him ? " 

" Bring him here ! " said the Emperor 

The Chancellor could scarcely believe his 
ears. " Here, your Imperial Highness ? Did 
I rightly understand .' 

" Bring him here ! " the Emperor thundered 
once more, The Chancellor tottered down 

the hall and in another minute the crowd 

divided, and the poor old Beggar was seen 
entering the Banqueting- Hall. 



382 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




He was indeed a pitiable object : the rags, 
that hung about him, were all splashed with 
mud : his white hair and his long beard were 
tossed about in wild disorder. Yet he walked 
upright, with a stately tread, as if used to com- 
mand : and strangest sight of all Sylvie 

and Bruno came with him, clinging to his hands, 
and gazing at him with looks of silent love. 



xxiv] THE BEGGAR'S RETURN. 383 

Men looked eagerly to see how the Em- 
peror would receive the bold intruder. Would 
he hurl him from the steps of the dais ? But 
no. To their utter astonishment, the Emper- 
or knelt as the beggar approached, and with 
bowed head murmured " Forgive us ! " 

" Forgive us ! " the Empress, kneeling at her 
husband's side, meekly repeated. 

The Outcast smiled. " Rise up ! " he said. 
" I forgive you ! " And men saw with wonder 
that a change had passed over the old beggar, 
even as he spoke. What had seemed, but now, 
to be vile rags and splashes of mud, were seen 
to be in truth kingly trappings, broidered with 
gold, and sparkling with gems. All knew him 
now, and bent low before the Elder Brother, the 
true Warden. 

" Brother mine, and Sister mine ! " the War- 
den began, in a clear voice that was heard all 
through that vast hall. " I come not to disturb 
you. Rule on, as Emperor, and rule wisely. 
For I am chosen King of Elfland. To-morrow 
I return there, taking nought from hence, save 

only save only " his voice trembled, and 

with a look of ineffable tenderness, he laid 



384 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED, 

his hands in silence on the heads of the two 
little ones who clung around him. 

But he recovered himself in a moment, and 
beckoned to the Emperor to resume his place 
at the table. The company seated themselves 

again room being found for the Elfin- King 

between his two children and the Lord 

Chancellor rose once more, to propose the 
next toast. 

" The next toast the hero of the day- 
why, he isn't here ! " he broke off in wild 
confusion. 

Good gracious ! Everybody had forgotten 
Prince Uggug ! 

" He was told of the Banquet, of course ? " 
said the Emperor. 

" Undoubtedly ! " replied the Chancellor. 
" That would be the duty of the Gold Stick 
in Waiting." 

" Let the Gold Stick come forwards ! " the 
Emperor gravely said. 

The Gold Stick came forwards. " I attended 
on His Imperial Fatness," was the statement 
made by the trembling official. " I told him 
of the Lecture and the Banquet ." 



xxiv] THE BEGGAR'S RETURN. 385 

"What followed?" said the Emperor: for 
the unhappy man seemed almost too frightened 
to go on. 

" His Imperial Fatness was graciously pleased 
to be sulky. His Imperial Fatness was gra- 
ciously pleased to box my ears. His Imperial 
Fatness was graciously pleased to say ' I don't 
care ! ' " 

" ' Don't-care ' came to a bad end," Sylvie 
whispered to Bruno. " I'm not sure, but I 
believe he was hanged." 

The Professor overheard her. " That result," 
he blandly remarked, " was merely a case of 
mistaken identity." 

Both children looked puzzled. 

" Permit me to explain. ' Don't-care ' and 
' Care' were twin-brothers. ' Care,' you know, 
killed the Cat. And they caught ' Don't-care ' 
by mistake, and hanged him instead. And so 
' Care ' is alive still. But he's very unhappy 
without his brother. That's why they say 
' Begone, dull Care ! ' " 

" Thank you ! " Sylvie said, heartily. " It's 
very extremely interesting. Why, it seems to 
explain everything!" 

c c 



386 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Well, not quite everything, " the Professor 
modestly rejoined. " There are two or three 
scientific difficulties 

" What was your general impression as to 
His Imperial Fatness ? " the Emperor asked 
the Gold Stick. 

" My impression was that His Imperial Fat- 
ness was getting more 

" More what ? " 

All listened breathlessly for the next word. 

" More PRICKLY !" 

"He must be sent for at once!" the Em- 
peror exclaimed. And the Gold Stick went off 
like a shot. The Elfin-King sadly shook his 
head. " No use, no use ! " he murmured to 
himself. " Loveless, loveless !" 

Pale, trembling, speechless, the Gold Stick 
came slowly back again. 

"Well?" said the Emperor. "Why does 
not the Prince appear ? " 

" One can easily guess, said the Professor. 
" His Imperial Fatness is, without doubt, a 
little preoccupied." 

Bruno turned a look of solemn enquiry on 
his old friend. " What do that word mean ?" 



xxiv] THE BEGGAR'S RETURN. 387 

But the Professor took no notice of the ques- 
tion. He was eagerly listening to the Gold 
Stick's reply. 

" Please your Highness ! His Imperial Fat- 
ness is Not a word more could he utter. 

The Empress rose in an agony of alarm. 
" Let us go to him ! " she cried. And there 
was a general rush for the door. 

Bruno slipped off his chair in a moment. 
"May we go too?" he eagerly asked. But 
the King did not hear the question, as the 
Professor was speaking to him. " Preoccupied, 
your Majesty ! " he was saying. " That is 
what he is, no doubt ! " 

" May we go and see him ? " Bruno repeated. 
The King nodded assent, and the children ran 
off. In a minute or two they returned, slowly 
and gravely. " Well ? " said the King. " What's 
the matter with the Prince ? " 

" He's - - what you said,'" Bruno replied 
looking at the Professor. " That hard word." 
And he looked to Sylvie for assistance. 

" Porcupine," said Sylvie. 

" No, no ! " the Professor corrected her. 
" ' Pre-occupied' you mean." 

C C 2 



SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




xxiv] THE BEGGAR'S RETURN. 389 

" No, it's porcupine" persisted Sylvie. " Not 
that other word at all. And please will you 
come ? The house is all in an uproar." ("And 
oo'd better bring an uproar-glass wiz oo ! " 
added Bruno.) 

We got up in great haste, and followed the 
children upstairs. No one took the least notice 
of me, but I wasn't at all surprised at this, as I 
had long realised that I was quite invisible to 
them all even to Sylvie and Bruno. 

All along the gallery, that led to the Prince's 
apartment, an excited crowd was surging to and 
fro, and the Babel of voices was deafening : 
against the door of the room three strong men 

were leaning, vainly trying to shut it for some 

great animal inside was constantly bursting it 
half open, and we had a glimpse, before the men 
could push it back again, of the head of a furious 
wild beast, with great fiery eyes and gnashing 

teeth. Its voice was a sort of mixture there 

was the roaring of a lion, and the bellowing of a 
bull, and now and then a scream like a gigantic 
parrot. " There is no judging by the voice ! " 
the Professor cried in great excitement. " What 
is it ? " he shouted to the men at the door. 



390 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

And a general chorus of voices answered him 
" Porcupine ! Prince Uggug has turned into 
a Porcupine ! " 

" A new Specimen ! " exclaimed the delighted 
Professor. " Pray let me go in. It should be 
labeled at once ! " 

But the strong men only pushed him back. 
"Label it, indeed! Do you want to be eaten 
up ? " they cried. 

" Never mind about Specimens, Professor ! " 
said the Emperor, pushing his way through the 
crowd. " Tell us how to keep him safe ! " 

" A large cage ! " the Professor promptly re- 
plied. " Bring a large cage," he said to the 
people generally, " with strong bars of steel, 
and a portcullis made to go up and down like 
a mouse-trap ! Does any one happen to have 
such a thing about him ? " 

It didn't sound a likely sort of thing for any 
one to have about him ; however, they brought 
him one directly : curiously enough, there hap- 
pened to be one standing in the gallery. 

" Put it facing the opening of the door, and 
draw up the portcullis ! " This was done in a 
moment. 



xxiv] THE BEGGAR'S RETURN. 391 

" Blankets now ! " cried the Professor. " This 
is a most interesting Experiment ! " 

There happened to be a pile of blankets 
close by: and the Professor had hardly said the 
word, when they were all unfolded and held up 
like curtains all around. The Professor rapidly 
arranged them in two rows, so as to make a 
dark passage, leading straight from the door to 
the mouth of the cage. 

" Now fling the door open! " This did not 
need to be done : the three men had only to 
leap out of the way, and the fearful monster 
flung the door open for itself, and, with a yell 
like the whistle of a steam-engine, rushed into 
the cage. 

" Down with the portcullis ! " No sooner 
said than done : and all breathed freely once 
more, on seeing the Porcupine safely caged. 

The Professor rubbed his hands in childish 
delight. " The Experiment has succeeded ! " he 
proclaimed. " All that is needed now is to 
feed it three times a day, on chopped carrots 
and ." 

" Never mind about its food, just now ! " 
the Emperor interrupted. " Let us return to 



392 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

the Banquet. Brother, will you lead the way ? " 
And the old man, attended by his children, 
headed the procession down stairs. "Seethe 
fate of a loveless life ! " he said to Bruno, as 
they returned to their places. To which 
Bruno made reply, " I always loved Sylvie, 
so I'll never get prickly like that ! " 

" He is prickly, certainly," said the Professor, 
who had caught the last words, "but we must 
remember that, however porcupiny, he is royal 
still ! After this feast is over, I'm going to 

take a little present to Prince Uggug just 

to soothe him, you know : it isn't pleasant 
living in a cage." 

"What'll you give him for a birthday-pre- 
sent ? " Bruno enquired. 

" A small saucer of chopped carrots," replied 
the Professor. "In giving birthday-presents, 

my motto is cheapness ! I should think I 

save forty pounds a year by giving oh, what 

a twinge of pain ! " 

" What is it ? " said Sylvie anxiously. 

"My old enemy!" groaned the Professor. 

" Lumbago rheumatism that sort of thing. 

I think I'll go and lie down a bit." And he 



xxiv] THE BEGGAR'S RETURN. 393 

hobbled out of the Saloon, watched by the 
pitying eyes of the two children. 

" He'll be better soon ! " the Elfin- King said 
cheerily. " Brother ! " turning to the Emperor, 
" I have some business to arrange with you 
to-night. The Empress will take care of the 
children." And the two Brothers went away 
together, arm-in-arm. 

The Empress found the children rather sad 
company. They could talk of nothing but 
" the dear Professor," and " what a pity he's 
so ill ! ", till at last she made the welcome 
proposal " Let's go and see him ! " 

The children eagerly grasped the hands she 
offered them : and we went off to the Profes- 
sor's study, and found him lying on the sofa, 
covered up with blankets, and reading a little 
manuscript-book. " Notes on Vol. Three ! " he 
murmured, looking up at us. And there, on a 
table near him, lay the book he was seeking 
when first I saw him. 

" And how are you now, Professor ? " the 
Empress asked, bending over the invalid. 

The Professor looked up, and smiled feebly. 
"As devoted to your Imperial Highness as 



394 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED 

ever!" he said in a weak voice. "All of me, 
that is not Lumbago, is Loyalty ! " 

" A sweet sentiment ! " the Empress ex- 
claimed with tears in her eyes. "You seldom 

hear anything so beautiful as that even in 

a Valentine ! " 

" We must take you to stay at the seaside," 
Sylvie said, tenderly. " It'll do you ever so 
much good ! And the Sea's so grand ! " 

" But a Mountain's grander ! " said Bruno. 

" What is there grand about the Sea ? " said 
the Professor. " Why, you could put it all 
into a teacup ! " 

" Some of it," Sylvie corrected him. 

" Well, you'd only want a certain number 
of tea-cups to hold it all. And then where's 

the grandeur ? Then as to a Mountain why, 

you could carry it all away in a wheel-barrow, 
in a certain number of years ! " 

" It wouldn't look grand the bits of it in 

the wheel-barrow," Sylvie candidly admitted. 

" But when oo put it together again 
Bruno began. 

" When you're older," said the Professor, 
" you'll know that you cant put Mountains 



xxiv] THE BEGGAR'S RETURN. 395 

together again so easily ! One lives and one 
learns, you know ! " 

" But it needn't be the same one, need it ? " 
said Bruno. " Wo' n't it do, if / live, and if 
Sylvie learns ? " 

" I cant learn without living ! " said Sylvie. 

"But I can live without learning!" Bruno 
retorted. " Oo just try me ! " 

" What I meant, was " the Professor began, 

looking much puzzled, "was that you don't 

know everything, you know." 

"But I do know everything I know!" per- 
sisted the little fellow. " I know ever so many- 
things ! Everything, 'cept the things I don't 
know. And Sylvie knows all the rest. " 

The Professor sighed, and gave it up. " Do 
you know what a Boojum is ? " 

"7 know!" cried Bruno. "It's the thing 
what wrenches people out of their boots ! " 

"He means ' bootjack, ' Sylvie explained 
in a whisper. 

"You ca'n't wrench people out of boots" the 
Professor mildly observed. 

Bruno laughed saucily. " Oo can, though ! 
Unless they're welly tight in." 



396 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Once upon a time there was a Boojum- 



the Professor began, but stopped suddenly. 
" I forget the rest of the Fable," he said. 
" And there was a lesson to be learned from 
it. I'm afraid I forget that, too." 

" /'// tell oo a Fable ! " Bruno began in 
a great hurry. "Once there were a Locust, 
and a Magpie, and a Engine-driver. And the 
Lesson is, to learn to get up early 

" It isn't a bit interesting!" Sylvie said con- 
temptuously. " You shouldn't put the Lesson 
so soon." 

" When did you invent that Fable ? " said 
the Professor. " Last week ? " 

"No!" said Bruno. "A deal shorter ago 
than that. Guess again ! " 

" I ca'n't guess," said the Professor. " How 
long ago ? " 

" Why, it isn't invented yet ! " Bruno ex- 
claimed triumphantly. " But I have invented 
a lovely one ! Shall I say it ? " 

" If you've finished inventing it," said Syl- 
vie. " And let the Lesson be ' to try again ' ! " 

" No," said Bruno with great decision. " The 
Lesson are ' not to try again ' ! " " Once there 



xxiv] THE BEGGAR'S RETURN. 397 

were a lovely china man, what stood on the 
chimbley-piece. And he stood, and he stood. 
And one day he tumbleded off, and he didn't 
hurt his self one bit. Only he would try again. 
And the next time he tumbleded off, he hurted 
his self welly much, and breaked off ever so 
much varnish." 

" But how did he come back on the chim- 
ney-piece after his first tumble ? " said the 
Empress. (It was the first sensible question 
she had asked in all her life. 

"/put him there ! " cried Bruno. 

" Then I'm afraid you know something about 
his tumbling," said the Professor. " Perhaps 
you pushed him ? " 

To which Bruno replied, very seriously, 

" Didn't pushed him muck he were a lovely 

china man," he added hastily, evidently very 
anxious to change the subject. 

" Come, my children ! " said the Elfin- King, 
who had just entered the room. " We must 
have a little chat together, before you go to 
bed." And he was leading them away, but 
at the door they let go his hands, and ran back 
again to wish the Professor good night. 



398 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




" Good night, Professor, good night ! " And 
Bruno solemnly shook hands with the old 
man, who gazed at him with a loving smile, 
while Sylvie bent down to press her sweet lips 
upon his forehead. 

" Good night, little ones ! " said the Professor. 

" You may leave me now to ruminate. I'm 

as jolly as the day is long, except when it's 
necessary to ruminate on some very difficult 
subject. All of me," he murmured sleepily 



xxiv] THE BEGGAR'S RETURN. 399 

as we left the room, " all of me, that isn't 
Bonhommie, is Rumination ! " 

" What did he say, Bruno ? " Sylvie enquired, 
as soon as we were safely out of hearing. 

" I think he said ' All of me that isn't Bone- 
disease is Rheumatism.' Whatever are that 
knocking, Sylvie ? " 

Sylvie stopped, and listened anxiously. It 
sounded like some one kicking at a door. " I 
hope it isn't that Porcupine breaking loose ! " 
she exclaimed. 

" Let's go on ! " Bruno said hastily. " There's 
nuffin to wait for, oo know ! ' 



CHAPTER XXV. 

LIFE OUT OF DEATH. 

THE sound of kicking, or knocking, grew 
louder every moment : and at last a door opened 
somewhere near us. " Did you say ' come in ! ' 
Sir ? " my landlady asked timidly. 

" Oh yes, come in ! " I replied. " What's 
the matter ? " 

" A note has just been left for you, Sir, by 
the baker's boy. He said he was passing the 
Hall, and they asked him to come round and 
leave it here." 

The note contained five words only. " Please 
come at once. Muriel." 



xxv] LIFE OUT OF DEATH. 401 

A sudden terror seemed to chill my very 
heart. " The Earl is ill ! " I said to myself. 
" Dying, perhaps ! " And I hastily prepared 
to leave the house. 

" No bad news, Sir, I hope ?" my landlady 
said, as she saw me out. " The boy said as 
some one had arrived unexpectedly ." 

11 I hope that is it ! " I said. But my feelings 
were those of fear rather than of hope : though, 
on entering the house, I was somewhat reassured 
by finding luggage lying in the entrance, bear- 
ing the initials " E. L." 

" It's only Eric Lindon after all ! " I thought, 
half relieved and half annoyed. " Surely she 
need not have sent for me for that ! " 

Lady Muriel met me in the passage. Her 
eyes were gleaming but it was the excite- 
ment of joy, rather than of grief. " I have 
a surprise for you ! " she whispered. 

" You mean that Eric Lindon is here ? " I 
said, vainly trying to disguise the involuntary 
bitterness of my tone. " ' The funeral baked 
meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage- 
tables^ " I could not help repeating to myself. 
How cruelly I was misjudging her ! 

D D 



402 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED'. 

"No, no!" she eagerly replied. "At least 
Eric is here. But ," her voice quivered, 



" but there is another ! " 

No need for further question. I eagerly 
followed her in. There on the bed, he lay- 
pale and worn the mere shadow of his old 

self my old friend come back again from 

the dead ! 

"Arthur!" I exclaimed. I could not say 
another word. 

" Yes, back again, old boy ! " he murmured, 
smiling as I grasped his hand. " He" indica- 
ting Eric, who stood near, "saved my life 
He brought me back. Next to God, we must 
thank him, Muriel, my wife ! " 

Silently I shook hands with Eric and with 
the Earl : and with one consent we moved into 
the shaded side of the room, where we could 
talk without disturbing the invalid, who lay, 
silent and happy, holding his wife's hand in 
his, and watching her with eyes that shone 
with the deep steady light of Love. 

" He has been delirious till to-day," Eric 
explained in a low voice : " and even to-day he 
has been wandering more than once. But the 



xxv] LIFE OUT OF DEATH. 403 

sight of her has been new life to him." And 
then he went on to tell us, in would-be careless 

tones 1 knew how he hated any display of 

feeling how he had insisted on going back to 

the plague-stricken town, to bring away a man 
whom the doctor had abandoned as dying, but 
who might, he fancied, recover if brought to 
the hospital : how he had seen nothing in the 
wasted features to remind him of Arthur, and 
only recognised him when he visited the 
hospital a month after : how the doctor had 
forbidden him to announce the discovery, say- 
ing that any shock to the over-taxed brain 
might kill him at once : how he had staid on at 
the hospital, and nursed the sick man by night 

and day all this with the studied indifference 

of one who is relating the commonplace acts 
of some chance acquaintance ! 

" And this was his rival ! " I thought. " The 
man who had won from him the heart of the 
woman he loved ! " 

" The sun is setting," said Lady Muriel, 
rising and leading the way to the open window. 
"Just look at the western sky! What lovely 
crimson tints ! We shall have a glorious day 

D D 2 



404 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 




xxv] LIFE OUT OF DEATH. 405 

to-morrow We had followed her across 

the room, and were standing in a little group, 
talking in low tones in the gathering gloom, 
when we were startled by the voice of the sick 
man, murmuring words too indistinct for the 
ear to catch. 

" He is wandering again," Lady Muriel 
whispered, and returned to the bedside. We 
drew a little nearer also : but no, this had none 
of the incoherence of delirium. " What reward 
shall I give unto the Lord" the tremulous lips 
were saying, "for all the benefits that He hath 
done unto me ? I will receive the cup of salva- 
tion, and call and call ' but here the 

poor weakened memory failed, and the feeble 
voice died into silence. 

His wife knelt down at the bedside, raised 
one of his arms, and drew it across her own, 
fondly kissing the. thin white hand that lay 
so listlessly in her loving grasp. It seemed 
to me a good opportunity for stealing away 
without making her go through any form of 
parting : so, nodding to the Earl and Eric, I 
silently left the room. Eric followed me down 
the stairs, and out into the night. 



406 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Is it Life or Death ? " I asked him, as 
soon as we were far enough from the house 
for me to speak in ordinary tones. 

" It is Life ! " he replied with eager emphasis. 
" The doctors are quite agreed as to that. All 
he needs now, they say, is rest, and perfect 
quiet, and good nursing. He's quite sure to 
get rest and quiet, here : and, as for the nursing 
why, I think it's \\&\. possible " (he tried hard 
to make his trembling voice assume a playful 
tone) " he may even get fairly well nursed, in 
his present quarters ! " 

"I'm sure of it!" I said. "Thank you so 
much for coming out to tell me ! " And, think- 
ing he had now said all he had come to say, I 
held out my hand to bid him good night. He 
grasped it warmly, and added, turning his face 
away as he spoke, " By the way, there is one 
other thing I wanted to say. I thought you'd 

like to know that that I'm not not in the 

mind I was in when last we met. It isn't 

that I can accept Christian belief at least, 

not yet. But all this came about so strangely. 
And she had prayed, you know. And I had 
prayed. And and " his voice broke, and 



XXV] LIFE OUT OF DEATH. 407 

I could only just catch the concluding words, 
' ' there is a God that answers prayer ! I know 
it for certain now." He wrung my hand once 
more, and left me suddenly. Never before had 
I seen him so deeply moved. 

So, in the gathering twilight, I paced slowly 
homewards, in a tumultuous whirl of happy 
thoughts : my heart seemed full, and running 
over, with joy and thankfulness : all that I had 
so fervently longed for, and prayed for, seemed 
now to have come to pass. And, though I re- 
proached myself, bitterly, for the unworthy sus- 
picion I had for one moment harboured against 
the true-hearted Lady Muriel, I took comfort 
in knowing it had been but a passing thought. 

Not Bruno himself could have mounted the 
stairs with so buoyant a step, as I felt my way 
up in the dark, not pausing to strike a light 
in the entry, as I knew I had left the lamp 
burning in my sitting-room. 

But it was no common lamplight into which 
I now stepped, with a strange, new, dreamy 
sensation of some subtle witchery that had come 
over the place. Light, richer and more golden 
than any lamp could give, flooded the room, 



408 SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

streaming in from a window I had somehow 
never noticed before, and lighting up a group of 
three shadowy figures, that grew momently 

more distinct a grave old man in royal robes, 

leaning back in an easy chair, and two children, 
a girl and a boy, standing at his side. 

" Have you the Jewel still, my child ? " the 
old man was saying. 

" Oh, yes ! " Sylvie exclaimed with unusual 
eagerness. " Do you think I'd ever lose it or 
forget it ? " She undid the ribbon round her 
neck, as she spoke, and laid the Jewel in her 
father's hand. 

Bruno looked at it admiringly. " What a 
lovely brightness ! " he said. " It's just like a 
little red star ! May I take it in my hand ? " 

Sylvie nodded : and Bruno carried it off to 
the window, and held it aloft against the sky, 
whose deepening blue was already spangled 
with stars. Soon he came running back in 
some excitement. "Sylvie! Look here!" he 
cried. " I can see right through it when I hold 
it up to the sky. And it isn't red a bit : it's, oh 
such a lovely blue ! And the words are all 
different ! Do look at it ! " 



xxv] LIFE OUT OF DEATH. 409 

Sylvie was quite excited, too, by this time ; 
and the two children eagerly held up the Jewel 
to the light, and spelled out the legend between 

them, " ALL WILL LOVE SYLVIE." 




" Why, this is the other Jewel ! " cried 
Bruno. " Don't you remember, Sylvie ? The 
one you didrit choose ! " 

Sylvie took it from him, with a puzzled look, 
and held it, now up to the light, now down. 
"It's blue, one way," she said softly to herself, 
" and it's red, the other way ! Why, I thought 
there were two of them -Father ! " she sud- 
denly exclaimed, laying the Jewel once more in 
his hand, " I do believe it was the same Jewel 
all the time ! " 



4 io SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. 

" Then you choosed it from itself" Bruno 
thoughtfully remarked. " Father, could Sylvie 
choose a thing from itself ? " 

" Yes, my own one," the old man replied 
to Sylvie, not noticing Bruno's embarrassing 

question, "it was the same Jewel but you 

chose quite right." And he fastened the ribbon 
round her neck again. 

'*' SYLVIE WILL LOVE ALL ALL WILL LOVE 

SYLVIE," Bruno murmured, raising himself on 
tiptoe to kiss the 'little red star.' " And, when 
you look at it, it's red and fierce like the sun 
and, when you look through it, it's gentle 
and blue like the sky ! " 

" God's own sky," Sylvie said, dreamily. 

"God's own sky," the little fellow repeated, 
as they stood, lovingly clinging together, and 
looking out into the night. " But oh, Sylvie, 
what makes the sky such a darling blue ? " 

Sylvie's sweet lips shaped themselves to 
reply, but her voice sounded faint and very 
far away. The vision was fast slipping from 
my eager gaze : but it seemed to me, in that 
last bewildering moment, that not Sylvie but 
an angel was looking out through those trustful 



xxv] 



LIFE OUT OF DEATH. 




brown eyes, and that not Sylvie's but an angel's 
voice was whispering 



is 



THE END. 



GENERAL INDEX. 

[N.B. ' I ' refers to " Sylvie and Bruno," ' II' to " Sylvie 
and Bruno Concluded."] 

Accelerated Velocity, causes of; II. 190 

Air, Cotton-wool lighter than, how to obtain ; II. 166 

Animal-Suffering, mystery of ; II. 296 

Anti-Teetotal Card ; II. 139 

Artistic effect said to require Indistinctness ; I. 241 

Asylums, Lunatic-, future use for ; II. 132 

Axioms of Science ; II. 330 

Badgers, the Three (Poem) ; I. 247 
Barometer, sideways motion of; I. 13 
Baron Doppelgeist ; I. 85 
Bath, Portable, for Tourists; I. 25 
Bazaars, Charity-; II. 44 
Beauty, Pain of realising; II. 337 
Bed, reason for never going to ; II. 141 
Bees, Mind of; II. 298 
Bessie's Song; II. 76 
Bible-Selections for Children ; I. xiii 

,, learning by heart ; I. xiv 

Black Light, how to produce ; II. 341 
Boat, motion of, how to imitate on land; II. 108 
Books, or Minds. Which contain most Science? I. 21 
Boots for Horizontal Weather; I. 14 



4H GENERAL INDEX. 

Brain, inverted position of; I. 243 
Bread-sauce appropriate for Weltering ; I. 58 
Breaking promises. Why is it wrong? II. 27 
Bruno's Song : I. 215 

Burden of Proof misplaced by Crocodiles; I. 230 
Ladies; I. 235 

Watts, Dr. ; do. 

'Care' and ' Don't-Care,' history of; II. 

Carrying one's self. Why is it not fatiguing? I. 169 

Charity-Bazaars ; II. 44 

,, fallacies as to ; II. 43 

Pseudo- ; II. 42 
Child's Bible ; I. xiii 

,, Sunday, in last generation ; I. 387 

,, view of Adult Life ; II. 260 
Present Life ; I. 330 
Choral Services, effect of; I. 273. II. xix 
Chorister's life, dangers of; I. 274. II. xix 
Church-going, true principle of: I. 272 
Competition for Scholars ; II. 187 
Competitive Examination ; II. 184 
Conceited Critic always depreciates; I. 237 
Content, opportunity for cultivating; I. 152 
'Convenient' and 'Inconvenient,' difference in meaning; 

I. 140 
Conversation at Dinner-parties, how to promote : (see 

" Dinner-parties ") 

Cotton-wool lighter than air, how to obtain ; II. 166 
Critic, conceited, always depreciates : I. 237 

,, how to gain character of; I. 238 
Crocodiles, Logic of; I. 230 
Croquet. Why is it demoralising? II. 135 



GENERAL INDEX. 415 

Darwinism reversed ; I. 64 

Day, length and shortness of, compared ; I. 159 

true length of; I. 159 
Death, certainty of, effect of realising ; I. xix 
Debts, how to avoid Payment of; I. 131 
Deserts, use for; II. 158 

Dichotomy, Political, in common life; II. 198, 205, 207 
Dinner-parties, how to promote Conversation at : 

Moving-Guests; II. 145 
Pictures ; II. 143 

Revolving-Humorist; II. 145 

Wild-Creatures ; II. 144 
Dog-King, the, ('Nero'); I- i?5- II. 58 
Dog, Man's advantage over ; II. 293 

reasoning power of; II. 294 
' Doing good,' ambiguity of phrase ; II. 43 
Doppelgeist, Baron ; I. 85 
Dramatization of Life ; I. 333 
Dreaminess, certain cure for; I. 136 
Drunkenness, how to prevent ; II. 71 

Eggs, how to purchase ; II. 196 
Electricity, influence of, on Literature ; I. 64 
Enjoyment of Life ; I. 335 

,, Novel-reading; I. 336 

Eternity, contemplation of. Why is it wearisome ? II. 258 
Events in reverse order ; I. 350 
Examination, Competitive ; II. 184 
Experimental Honeymoons ; II. 136 
Eye, images inverted in the ; I. 242 

Fairies, captured, how to treat ; II. 5 

character of, how to improve ; I. 190 



416 GENERAL INDEX. 

Fairies, existence of, possible ; II. 300 

,, presence of, how to recognise ; I. 191. II. 264 

,, moral responsibility of; II. 301 
Falling Houses, Life in; I. 100 
Final Causes, problem in ; I. 297 
Fires in Theatres, how to prevent ; II. 165 
Fortunatus' Purse, how to make ; II. 100 
Free- Will and Nerve-Force; I. 390 
Frog, young, how to amuse ; I. 364 
Future Life. What interests will survive in it ? II. 256 

Gardener's Song : 

Albatross; I. 164. Argument; 11.319. Banker's 
Clerk; I. 90. Bar of Mottled Soap ; II. 319. Bear 
without a head; I. 116. Buffalo; I. 78. Coach- 
and-Four ; I. 116. Double Rule of Three; I. 168. 
Elephant ; I. 65; II. 334. Garden-Door; I. 168. 
Hippopotamus ; I. 90. Kangaroo ; I. 106. Letter 
from his Wife; I. 65. Middle of Next Week; 
I. 83. Penny-Postage-Stamp; I. 164. Rattlesnake; 
I. 83. Sister's Husband's Niece ; I. 78. Vege- 
table-Pill ; I. 1 06 

Ghosts, treatment of, by Shakespeare ; I. 60 

,, in Railway-Literature ; I. 58 

Weltering, Bread-sauce appropriate for ; I. 58 

Girls' Shakespeare ; I. xv 

Government with many Kings and one Subject ; II. 172 

Graduated races of Man ; I. 299 

Guests, Moving-; II. 145 

Happiness, excessive, how to moderate ; I. 159 
Heaven inconceivable to those on Earth ; II. 260 
Honesty, Dr. Watts' argument for; I. 235 



GENERAL INDEX. 4*7 

Honeymoons, Experimental ; II. 136 
Horizontal Weather, Boots for; I. 14 
Horses, Runaway, how to control ; II. IQ&-- 
Hot Ink, use of; II. 357 
Houses, Falling, Life in ; I. 100 
Humorist, Revolving ; II. 145 
Hunting, Morality of; I. xx, 318; II. xviii 
Hymns appealing to Selfishness ; I. 276 

'Idle Mouths'; II. 37 
' Imponderal ' ; II. 166 
' Inconvenient ' and 'Convenient,' difference in meaning of; 

I. 140 

Indistinctness said to be necessary for Artistic effect ; I. 241 
Ink, Hot, use of; II. 357 
Instinct and Reason ; II. 295 
Inversion of Brain ; I. 243 

,, images on Retina ; I. 242 

Jam-tasting; II. 150 

Jesting in Letter- writing, how to indicate ; II. 117 

'King Fisher' Song; II. 14 

Knocking-down, some persons not liable to ; II. 54 

Ladies, Logic of; I. 235 

Least Common Multiple, rule of, applied to Literature ; I. 22 
Letter-writing, how to indicate Jesting in ; II. 117 
Shyness in; II. 115 

Life, adult, Child's view of; II. 260 
,, Dramatization of; I. 133 

Future, What interests will survive in it ? II. 256 

E E 



418 GENERAL INDEX. 

Life, how to enjoy ; I. 335 

in Falling Houses; I. 100 

,, reverse order; I. 350 

Present, Child's view of; I. 330 
Light, Black, how to produce ; II. 341 
Literature as influenced by Electricity ; I. 64 
,, Steam ; I. 64 

for Railway ; I. 58 

,, treated by rule of Least Common Multiple ; I. 22 
"Little Birds' (Poem); II. 364, 371, 377 
'Little Man' (Poem); II. 265 

,, privilege of being ; I. 299 

Liturgy, Choral, effect of; I. 273 
Logic of Crocodiles ; I. 230 

of Ladies; I. 235 

,, of Dr. Watts ; do. 

requisites for complete Argument in ; I. 259 
Loving or being loved. Which is best ? 1-77 
Lunatic-Asylums, future use for; II. 132 
Lunatics out-numbering the Sane, result of; II. 133 

Man, advantages of, over the Dog ; II. 293 

,, graduated races of; I. 299 

,, Little, privilege of being ; 1.299 
Maps, best size for; II. 169 
' Matilda Jane ' (Poem) ; II. 76 
' Megaloscope ' ; II. 334 

Minds, or Books. Which contain most Science ? I. 2 1 
Money, effect of increasing value of; I. 312 

playing for, a moral act; II. 135 
Morality of Sport ; I. xx, 318. II. xviii. 
Moral Philosophy, teachers of. Which are most esteemed ? 

II. 181 



GENERAL INDEX. 419, 

Moving-Guests; II. 145 

,, Pictures; II. 143 
Music, how to get largest amount of in given time ; I. 338. 

Why is it sometimes not pleasing? II. 156 

'Nero ' the Dog-King ; I. 175. II. 58 
Nerve-Force and Free-Will ; I. 390 
Nerves, slow action of; I. 158 
Novel-reading, how to enjoy ; I. 336 

' Obstruction,' Political, in common life ; II. 203 
'Onus probandi ' misplaced by Crocodiles ; I. 230 

Ladies ; I. 235 

,, Dr. Watts ; do. 

' Opposition,' Political, in common life ; II. 200 

Pain, how to minimise ; 1-337 
Paley's definition of Virtue ; I. 273 
Parentheses in Conversation, how to indicate; I. 251 
Passages, Selected, for learning by heart ; I. xv 
Payment of Debts, how to avoid ; I. 1 3 1 
'Peter and Paul ' (Poem) ; I. 143 

Philosophy, Moral. What kind is most esteemed? II. 181 
Phlizz, a visionary flower ; I. 282 
fruit ; I. 75 

,, nurse-maid ; I. 283 

Pictures, how to criticize ; I. 238 

Moving ; II. 143 
' Pig Tale ' (Poem) ; I. 138; II. 366, 372 
Planets, small; II. 170 
Playing for money, a moral act; II. 135 
Pleasure, how to maximise ; 1-335 



420 GENERAL INDEX 

Plunge-Bath, portable, for Tourists; I. 25 
Poems, first lines of : 

' He stept so lightly to the land ' ; I. 291 
' He thought he saw an Albatross ' ; I. 164 
., an Argument '; II. 319 

a Banker's Clerk ' ; 1.90 

a Buffalo'; I. 78 
a Coach-and-Four ' ; I. 116 

an Elephant ' ; I. 65 ; II. 334 
,, ,, a Garden-Door '; I. 168 

,, a Kangaroo ' ; I. 106 

,, ,, a Rattlesnake ' ; I. 83 

' In Stature the Manlet was dwarfish '; II. 265 
' King Fisher courted Lady Bird ' ; II. 14 
' Little Birds are &c. '; II. 364, 371, 377 
' Matilda Jane, you never look ' ; II. 76 
' One thousand pounds per annuum ' ; II. 194 
' Peter is poor, said noble Paul' ; I. 143 
' Rise, oh rise ! The daylight dies ' ; I. 215 
' Say, what is the spell, when her fledgelings are 

cheeping'; II. 305 

' There be three Badgers on a mossy stone ' ; I. 247 
' There was a Pig, that sat alone ' ; I. 138; II. 366, 372 
Political Dichotomy in common life; II. 198, 205, 207 I 

., ' Opposition ' in common life ; II. 200 
Poor people, method for enriching; I. 312 
Poverty, blessings of; I. 152 
Prayer for temporal blessings, efficacy of; I. 391 
Preachers appealing to Selfishness; I. 276 
exceptional privileges of; I. 277 
Promises. When are they binding ? 11.26 

breaking of. Why is it wrong ? II. 27 

Proof, Burden of; (see ' Burden of Proof) 



GENERAL INDEX. 421 

Property, inherited, duties of owner of ; II. 39 

Pseudo-Charity ; II. 43 

Purse of Fortunatus, how to make ; II. 100 

Questions in Conversation, how to indicate; I. 251 

Rail way- Literature ; I. 58 

Scenes, Dramatization of; I. 333 
Rain, Horizontal, Boots for ; I. 14 
Reason and Instinct ; II. 295 

power of, in Dog ; II. 294 
Retina, images inverted on ; I. 242 
Reversed order of Events ; I. 350 
Revolving-Humorist ; II. 145 
Runaway Horses, how to control; II. 108 

Scenery enjoyed most by Little Men ; I. 299 

Scholars, Competition for; II. 187 

Science, Axioms of; II. 330 

Do Books, or Minds, contain most? I. 21 

Selections from Bible, for Children ; I. xiii 

,, for learning by heart ; I. xiv 

,, Prose and Verse, ,, ; I. xv 

,, from Shakespeare, for Girls ; I. xv 

Selfishness appealed to in Hymns ; I. 276 

religious teaching ; do. 

,, ,, Sermons ; do. 

Sermons appealing to Selfishness ; do. 
faults of; I. 277 ; II. xix 

Services, Choral, effect of; I. 273 

Shakespeare, passages of, discussed : 
'All the world's a stage ' ; I. 335 
'Aye, every inrh a king ! ' ; I. 373 



422 GENERAL INDEX. 

Shakespeare, passages of, discussed : 

' Is this a dagger that I see before me ? ' ; I. 371 
' Rest, rest, perturbed Spirit ! ' ; I. 60 
' To be, or not to be ' ; I. 370 
Selections from, for Girls ; I. xv 

,, treatment of Ghosts by ; I. 60 

Shyness, how to indicate in Letter-writing; II. 115 
'Sillygism,' requisites for; I. 259 
Sinfulness, amount of, in World; II. 125 

of an act differs with environment; II. 123 
Sobriety, extreme, inconvenience of; I. 140 
Spencer, Herbert, difficulties in ; I. 258 
Spherical, advantage of being; II. 190. 
Sport, Morality of; I. xx, 318. II. xviii. 
Steam, influence of, on Literature ; I. 64 
Sufferings of Animals, mystery of; II. 296 
Sunday, as spent by children of last generation ; I. 387- 

observance of; I. 385 
Sylvie and Bruno's Song ; II. 305 

Teetotal-Card ; II. 139 

Theatres, Fires in, how to prevent; II. 165 

'Three Badgers' (Poem); I. 247 

Time, how to put back; I. 314, 347 

reverse; I. 350 
,, storage of; II. 105 
'Tottles' (Poem); II. 194, 201, 209, 248 
Tourists' Portable Bath ; I. 25 
Trains running without engines; II. 106 

Velocity, Accelerated, causes of; II. 190 
Virtue, Paley's definition of; I. 274 
Voyages on Land ; II. 109 



GENERAL INDEX. 423 

Walking-sticks that walk alone, how to obtain ; II. 166 
Water, people lighter than, how to obtain ; II. 165 
Watts, Dr., Argument for Honesty; I. 235 

Logic of; do. 
Weather, Horizontal, Boots for; I. 14 
Weight, force of, how to exhaust ; II. 343 

,, relative, conceivable non-existence of; I. too 
Weltering, Bread-sauce appropriate for; I. 58 
' What Tottles meant' (Poem) ; II. 194, 201, 209, 248 
Wild-Creatures; II. 144 
~\Vilderness, use for; II. 158 
- Wilful waste, &c.,' lesson to be learnt from ; II. 69 



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AND THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS. PEOPLE'S 
EDITIONS. Both Books together in One Volume. (First 
published in 1887.) Crown 8vo, cloth, price 4^. 6d. Eighth 
Thousand. 



THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK. An Agony in 
Eight Fits. With Nine Illustrations by HENRY HOLIDAY. (First 
published in 1876.) Crown Svo, cloth, with large gilt designs on 
cover from drawings by HENRY HOLIDAY, gilt edges, price 
4^. 6d. Nineteenth Thousand. 

RHYME? AND REASON? With Sixty-five Illustrations 
by ARTHUR B. FROST, and Nine by HENRY HOLIDAY. (First 
published in 1883, being a reprint, with a few additions, of the 
comic portion of "Phantasmagoria and other Poems," pxiblished 
in 1869, and of " The Hunting of the Snark," published in 1876.) 
Crown Svo, cloth, gilt edges, price 6s. Fifth Thousand. 



WORKS BY LEWIS CARROLL 

PUBLISHED BY 

MACMILLAN AND CO., LONDON. 



A TANGLED TALE. Reprinted from The Monthly- 
Packet. With Six Illustrations by ARTHUR B. FROST. (First 
published in 1885.) Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt edges, price 4^. (>d. 
Fourth Thousand. 

THE GAME OF LOGIC. With an Envelope containing 

a card diagram and nine counters four red and five grey. (First 
published in 1886. ) Crown 8vo, cloth, price 3^. Second Thousand. . 
N. B. The Envelope, etc., may be had separately at 3</. each. 

SYMBOLIC LOGIC. In three Parts, which will be 
issued separately : 

PART I. Elementary. 
PART II. Advanced. 
PART III. Transcendental. 
4to, cloth. [In preparation. 

SYLVIE AND BRUNO. With Forty-six Illustrations by 
HARRY FURNISS. (First published in 1889.) Crown 8vo, cloth, 
gilt edges, price "js. 6d. Twelfth Thousand. 
N.B. This book contains 395 pages nearly as much as the two 

1 Alice ' books put together. 

SYLVIE AND BRUNO CONCLUDED. With Forty-six 
Illustrations by HARRY FURNISS. (First published in 1893.) 
Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt edges, price 7.?. 6d. 
N.B. This book contains 411 pages. 

ORIGINAL GAMES AND PUZZLES. With Twenty 
Illustrations by Miss E. GERTRUDE THOMSON. Crown 8vo, cloth, 
gilt edges. [In preparation. 

THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH, and 

Other Poems. With Illustrations by Miss E. GERTRUDE 

THOMSON. Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt edges. 

N.B. This will be a reprint, possibly with a few additions, of the 
serious portion of " Phantasmagoria, and other Poems," published 
in 1 869. [In preparation. 



WORKS BY LEWIS CARROLL 



PUBLISHED BY 

MACMILLAN AND CO., LONDON. 



CAUTIONS TO READERS. 

On August 1st, 1881, a story appeared in Aunl Jiidy 1 * Magazine 
No. 184, entitled "The Land of Idleness, by LEWIS CARROLL." 
This story \vas really written by a lady, FRAULEIN IDA LACKOWITZ. 
Acting on her behalf, Mr. CARROLL forwarded it to the Editor : and 
this led to the mistake of naming him as its author. 

In October, 1887, the writer of an article on " Literature for the Little 
Ones," in The Nineteenth Century, stated that in 1864, "TOM HOOD 
was delighting the world with such works as from Nowhere to the 
North Pole. Between TOM HOOD and Mr. LEWIS CARROLL there is 
more than a suspicion of resemblance in some particulars. Alice's 
Adventures in Wonderland narrowly escapes challenging a comparison 
with From Nowhere to the North Pole. The idea of both is so similar 
that Mr. CARROLL can hardly have been surprised if some people have 
believed he was inspired by HOOD." The date 1864 is a mistake. From 
Nowhere to the North Pole was first published in 1874, nine years after 
the publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. 



ADVICE TO WRITERS. 

Buy "THEWONDERLANDCASE FOR POSTAGE-STAMPS," 
invented by LEWIS CARROLL, Oct. 29, 1888, size 4 inches by 3, 
containing 12 separate pockets for stamps of different values, 2 Coloured 
Pictorial Surprises taken from Alice in Wonderland, and 8 or 9 Wise 
Words about Letter- Writing. It is published by Messrs. EMBERLIN & 
SON, 4 Magdalen Street, Oxford. Price is. 

N. B. If ordered by Post, an additional payment will be required, to 
cover cost of postage, as follows : 

One copy i^d. 

Two or three do. zd. 

Four do i\d. 

Five to fourteen do 3</. 

Each subsequent fourteen or fraction thereof . . . I \d. 

[TURN OVER. 



[SPECIMEN PAGE] 

ALICE'S ADVENTURES UNDER GROUND. By Lewis Carroll. 
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Being a Facsimile of the Original MS. Book, afterwards developed into "Alice's 

-Adventures in Wonderland." With Thirtyseven Illustrations by the Author. 

Crown 8vo, 4s. 



MACMILLAN & CO., LONDON. 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY, LOS ANGELES 

COLLEGE LIBRARY 

This book is due on the last date stamped below. 



Book Slip-35m-7,'63(D8634s4)4280 



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